Seafood and Chicken Paella

Traditional Spanish paella uses saffron, which adds a vibrant gold color and distinctive flavor. If you are unable to find it, this version is equally delicious without it.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, October 2009


  • 4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed saffron (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika or sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 1 pound total)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 6 ounces dried chorizo, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced small
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 12 mussels, scrubbed
  • 1/2 pound medium shell-on shrimp, deveined


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lowest position. In a saucepan, combine broth, saffron (if using), and paprika; bring to a simmer and keep warm.

  2. In a large skillet (at least 12 inches wide), heat oil over medium. Season chicken with salt and pepper. When oil is very hot, cook chicken, skin side down, until skin is golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip, spoon off all but 1 teaspoon fat from skillet, and push chicken to side.

  3. Add chorizo to skillet and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 10 minutes.

  4. Add rice; stir to coat thoroughly with tomato-chorizo mixture. Stir in hot broth and 1/2 teaspoon salt (skillet will be very full). Arrange chicken evenly on top, making sure rice is submerged. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring rice occasionally, 8 minutes. Nestle mussels in cooking liquid and cook 2 minutes more. Arrange shrimp on top.

  5. Place skillet in oven and cook until all liquid is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes. Let paella stand 10 minutes before serving.

Cook's Notes

Pimenton, which is rich and smoky but not very spicy, is a classic ingredient in Spanish paella. Smoked or sweet paprika is a good substitute.


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