Friday, May 14, 2010

Paella with a little help from my friend Goya

Shortcuts. We have to take them sometimes depending on our resources: time, accessible ingredients, expense, knowledge. I don't have access to fresh mussels or clams or lobster (can't afford it anyway), basically most of what I can get my hands on is frozen. I had one package of Spanish chorizo that I found in the back of my pantry (surprise!) from a care package sent to me at Christmas. I'm not an expert at making paella, and with my track record for making rice (I will learn, Pedro!) I wouldn't risk ruining this dish with undercooked or overcooked rice, so I prepare the yellow rice separately in a rice cooker. There are quite a few step involved so I've taken a million pictures. Here we go.

1 large onion, chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 lb shrimp
1 lb scallops (or any other seafood)
1 package Goya paella mix (basically this brings seasoned yellow rice and a can of squid in a sauce)
2 cans octopus
3 chorizo links, casing removed, sliced
chicken (I used pre-cooked chicken breast pieces, you may use 2 boneless chicken breasts, sliced)
dash or Worchestershire sauce
dash of soy sauce
dash of hot sauce
salt (see note below)*
olive oil
chicken buillon (optional)
t tbsp capers
1/4 cup red wine
1 tbsp tomato paste
Pimentos for garnish

I buy my raw shrimp with the shell on. Remove the shells and devein your shrimp . Place these shells in a pot with about 6 cups of water and one chicken buillon. Bring to a boil. Strain. Keep the broth.

In a large pot, sautee your onions and garlic in olive oil while you slice your chorizo. Add these to the pot. Add your chicken. Sautee for a while. Add a couple of laddlefuls of your broth and the tablespoon of tomato paste. Add your canned contents (squid and octopus). Add your soy sauce, hot sauce, Worchestershire sauce and your scallops. Add your capers and red wine. Simmer for a while. Add your raw shrimp. When the shrimp turn pink remove them from the pot and set aside. (Don't allow anyone into the kitchen at this point, or your shrimp could disappear). Let your pot simmer uncovered on low for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, prepare your rice according to instructions substituting the broth for the required water.

Once the rice is done, incorporate this into your pot. Stir. Put your shrimp back in. Garnish with pimento.

*Be careful with your salt on this dish. Remember the chorizo is salty, soy sauce is salty as is Worchestershire sauce, the buillon is salty as well as the canned seafood. Taste as you go.


  1. I've been craving paella for a while now, I'm going to make a seafood one :) mmmmm... I practied using arroz con pollo how to get the paella rice perfect or close enough.

  2. I like the rice cooker idea. Wish I would have read this last week before making my first paella. The rice turned out OK in the pan but the heat from the burners was uneven; so I had to keep turning. Next time I'm going to try making it on the grill outdoors with stronger burners. Thanks for the tips.

  3. I think the traditional way is to prepare it on the burner and then add the rice and let it cook in the oven, but I don't risk it with either method. It's too expensive a dish to ruin with bad rice. If you figure out a fail proof method, let me know!! :)