Monday, June 20, 2011

Easy Paella

I am rushing toward a deadline for Domestic Diva Mystery number 6, which means I'm not into spending a lot of time in the kitchen right now.  Consequently, I'm using the crock pot and trying to think of one pot dishes that don't require a lot of effort.

I'm particularly fond of paella, a Spanish rice dish.  It varies a bit depending on the region of Spain and what was locally available to them, but it's usually made with seafood, chorizo, and chicken, or some combination thereof.  I've also eaten it made with
Photo by Avicentegil
langostino, which looks like a cross between lobster and shrimp, but is apparently more akin to a crab.  If you're a clam lover and can get fresh clams, go for it! Clams perched on top make for a gorgeous and very impressive presentation.

This particular paella recipe is wonderful because it's quick and easy, and even relies on some canned goods.  Honestly, it takes longer to peel the shrimp and cut the chicken, than anything else!

It looks like this and then . . .

Paella is traditionally made in a large round pan with handles on both sides but any large pan will do. If you're in a huge rush, cut up the chicken and peel the shrimp in the morning and stash them in the fridge until you're ready to cook.

It's also very versatile.  I sometimes use canned clams in it and planned to when I made it this time, but the canned clams smelled, well, ookey.  They went in the trash.

. . . the liquid is absorbed when it's cooking.

It calls for three cups of liquid.  I used two cups of chicken broth and one cup of clam juice.  However, I have made it with three cups of water and seafood bouillon cubes and honestly, I think that's my favorite.

This time around I skipped chorizo because I wanted to make it with less fat.  It does lose a bit in flavor, if you do that but it's still good.  If your family hates seafood, make it with chorizo and chicken.  If you have a fresh red pepper, pop it in.  Love your food with a kick?  Add a couple of hot dried chilies!  Have saffron on hand?  Use a bit for that wonderful yellow color.  There are hundreds of variations on this dish, so have fun with it!


2 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 pound chorizo (or spicy sausage)
3 cups liquid (broth, clam juice, seafood bouillon or some combination)
3 large garlic cloves
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons oregano
2 cups long grain rice
salt and pepper
1-2 hot dried chilies (optional)
1 can clams or fresh clams (optional)

1 pound shrimp (fresh or frozen), peeled
1 10-ounce package frozen peas
2 tablespoons white wine or sherry vinegar

Trim excess fat off the chicken and cut into bite-sized pieces.  Heat the oil in the pan and add the chorizo and garlic on low.  Remove them from the pan and brown the chicken.  Return the chorizo and garlic and add the liquids, oregano, tomatoes, and rice and stir.  Cover and cook on low heat for 25 to 30 minutes.

Add the shrimp, peas, and vinegar.  Cook covered until shrimp are pink, about five minutes.

Bring the paella pan to the table to serve!



  1. Oh, wow, Krista, this sounds like something we'd love here. Thanks for the great recipe. I've had paella, but only when someone else has made it. Now I can have it at home any time!! Thanks! Good luck on the deadline!!

  2. Looks easy and delicious, Krista! Langostino? Looks a little like a crawdad...hmm. Best wishes for your deadline!

  3. Oh this looks yummy.

    Good luck with your deadline.

  4. Thanks for the good wishes, Julie!

    I think your clan will love this. Well, maybe not the vegetarian. Of course it does break your low carb rule, but you have to splurge sometimes!

    ~ Krista

  5. LOL, Elizabeth! I thought langostinos looked like crawdads, too. We used to see them in a cool river every summer. According to Wikipedia, langostinos are closer to crabs. Go figure.

    ~ Krista

  6. Marc and I really enjoy paella, and this is a wonderfully fuss-free version. LOL on the the "ookey" smell of canned clams. Fresh is definitely better if you can get them. And I'm all for adding that saffron, too. :)

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  7. Thanks, Dru. Typing as fast as I can! Wish I could cyber-ship you some paella!

    ~ Krista

  8. Thanks, Liz. It tastes even better!

    ~ Krista

  9. Cleo, I'm certain ookey must be an official word. ; ) Something just wasn't right with those clams.

    Saffron and fresh clams would make it a standout dish. But, I don't always have those on hand, and it's good without them, too!

    ~ Krista

  10. That looks so yummy! I do have a paella pan. I may try mine with chorizo and chicken. Thanks for the recipe.

  11. Veronica, you'll love it. And it's such fun to actually use a paella pan when you have one!

    ~ Krista

  12. Krista, best for the new book. You know I always look forward to your new ones... speaking of which, I finally finished Finger Lickin' Dead (I've been busy, so it took me a week to finish). Lulu's peach cobbler got my treatment today.

    I have been wanting to make a paella. This looks wonderful (but never leave out the chorizo ;)

  13. Krista, this is the first paella I've seen without saffron (and I hate saffron) so I haven't eaten paella since that first time as a girl. I can't wait to try this now that I know I can have it without. Yeah!

    Good writing!!


  14. Yum, Peach Cobbler! Sounds delish, Dave! Thanks for saying such nice things about my books!

    I think you'll enjoy this paella, but for you, I would definitely use the chorizo, fresh clams, and a couple of hot peppers!

    ~ Krista

  15. Avery, it's perfectly good without the saffron. I think you'll enjoy it!

    ~ Krista

  16. Yum, Krista! I love one-pan dishes! Good luck with your deadline.

    BTW, I just read and commented on Peggy's guest post. Thanks, Krista! You're a peach!