Seafood paella with chicken, sausage, shrimp, and mussels – the perfect dish to make when serving a lot of guests. Skip to the recipe now, or keep reading!
When it comes to party planning and entertaining guests, my skills are lacking to say the least. Don’t get me wrong, I love having people over and feeding their faces, but I’m the worst when it comes to giving notice ahead of time. My friends are more likely to receive a text from me saying, “OY! Last minute, but do you want to come over in 5 minutes and help me eat this smogasbord of food I made today?” than one reading, “On 20 July, 2016, I humbly invite you to take part in an evening of wining, dining, and Cards Against Humanity with great company and all the food you can fit inside your existence.” Planning is not my strong suit, people. But stuffing my friends and family on a whim? That I can do.
Which brings me to the focal point of this post: paella.
A few years ago, I posted an Easy One-Pot Seafood Paella recipe. I thought I’d revisit the topic, because have you had paella? It’s bangarang. I only make paella once or twice a year, if that, because it does require a time and financial investment plus an occasion to feast. This classic Spanish dish typically includes a variety of animal proteins: chicken, sausage, shrimp, mussels, and/or clams. While paella is an awesome dish to serve as an appetizer/tapas to many, I tend to serve it as an entree for a few…and by, “a few,” I mean 6 easily because holy crap, this recipe makes a ton of food.
Not only does this recipe yield a hefty volume, but it’s also packed with flavor, and is super filling. The order of operations here is to saute the onion, brown the chicken thighs, add the rice, cooked sausage, broth, and seasoning and allow the rice to cook. After most of the water is absorbed, we arrange the seafood all pretty-like and continue cooking until the dish is ready to serve. True story, this dish requires more time to prepare than I usually input into my meals, but it’s definitely worth it – especially if you’re looking for street cred among your friends and family.
To speed up the cook time, you can use 4 to 5 cups of cooked rice, and add about 1 to 2 cups of liquid, rather than going through the full water absorption process. I find rice takes much longer to cook when there are other ingredients (in this case, chicken, sausage, and onion) mixed in, versus cooking it on its own; however, you’ll end up with a more cohesive and flavorful dish if you do prepare it the traditional way using uncooked rice.
I like using already cooked chicken chorizo, which decreases the cook time slightly and lightens up the dish a bit, but you can definitely incorporate your favorite chorizo of choice. Often clams are included in seafood paella, but the grocery store was fresh out when I went to purchase ingredients, so I skipped them. I found the mussels and shrimp made for enough seafood, but you can add an additional pound of clams, and/or substitute any combination of seafood you’d like.
Kitchen tools I used to prepare this recipe:
My tutorial on How to Make Seafood Paella, complete with a photo tutorial and recipe is available at eHow.com!