Not Scary Seafood Paella

So tonight I had my parents, brother & sister-in-law over for dinner. It was the first official dinner I’ve cooked for all of them together in my new home.

As such, I wanted to do something special. After searching for something new and exciting, I came up with the idea of making paella. It’s the one dish my dad and Jay always order when given the opportunity because none of us make it. Until now. I studied recipes from Food Gawker, Food Network, Epicurious…. and landed on about 6 that had an aspect that I liked in the recipe. Between all of them, I made a grocery list and then bravely started cooking. I had a general idea of what I was doing, following about every other line of all 6 recipes. When said and done though, I had nailed it. My family thought it was a hit, and everyone asked to take the leftovers. Success! So before I forgot what I did, I quickly wrote it down to the best of my memory to share with you. And ps, it tastes even better if you play the Pandora station ” Mambo Big Band”. I’m serious.


  • 2 ½ cups Arborio Rice                                                                                  
  • 4 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 Large Onion, Chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Large Red Pepper, Chopped
  • 1 Can Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1 lb Raw Shrimp
  • 1 lb Fresh Sea Scallops
  • 2 Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Sleeve Chorizo
  • 1 Bag Frozen Peas
  • 1 Large Pinch of Saffron
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Hot Spanish Paprika
  • Chopped Green Onion and Parsley
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive Oil

Preheat the over to 375 degrees F. Sprinkle the paprika and cayenne pepper on the chicken breasts in a glass pyrex baking pan. Add a small amount of water to the pan to keep the chicken from sticking to the pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the chicken is done and the juices run clear. When cooked through, cut into bite size pieces and set aside.

Heat the oil in large dutch oven. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add the bell pepper and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Lower the heat and add the garlic, cooking for 1 minute longer.

Add the fire roasted tomatoes and let come to a simmer for a few minutes. Then mix in the saffron, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper and paprika.

Stir in the rice and mix until all the grains are coated. Add 3 cups of chicken stock and 1 cup white wine, and bring to boil for a few minutes. Stir lightly, and then lower the heat. Put the top on the pot and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Occasionally stir the pot. If needed, keep adding the remaining 1 cup of chicken stock throughout the cooking process. Once the liquid starts to be absorbed by the rice, add the chicken and the frozen peas.

In the meantime, cook the chorizo in a separate pan. Once the chorizo is cooked through, mix into the pot.  Note, this adds a lot of spice. You can add half to the pot, and leave half on the side for individuals to add to their own plate.

Next, pan sear the shrimp until they are cooked through and pink. Cut off the tails, and cut in half. Mix into the pot.

Cook the scallops in the same sautéing pan, ensuring they’re cooked through. Be sure to cut of their “feet”. Once cooked, slice into bite size pieces, about 4 pieces per scallop. Mix into the pot.

Salt and pepper the paella and ensure there is enough “juice”. Add chicken broth if it appears dry. Let your guests serve themselves, and have the option to garnish with either the green onions or parsley.


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