Paella couldn’t be more effortless with this stovetop method that keys on locally sourced ingredients in a tasty combination.
This time of year, I enjoy cooking a giant paella on my backyard firepit. I have a 28-inch Spanish paella pan and a steel cooking stand that fits over my fire. It is quite a production and a feast that will feed 15 to 20 hungry guests. But these days, the crowds are smaller, and I have a scaled-down recipe version that fits my smaller 20-inch paella pan.
Don’t be intimidated by paella. It is just jambalaya with a few culinary twists that create a different taste. At the base is a sofrito that is similar to our Cajun trinity but with tomatoes and Latin spices. Saffron in the stock adds perfume to the dish, and the creamier texture of the rice is a signature of a well-made paella. Traditional paellas are made with arborio or Spanish bomba rice, but I love the fragrance that Supreme Rice’s Louisiana jasmine adds to the dish. As the paella cooks, you will smell the rice cooking in the center of the pan. This browned center is called the socarrat – the most prized part of the paella.
While most paella recipes follow the Valencian rules of using rabbit, mussels, and other exotic ingredients, my Stovetop Paella recipe is a simpler version using readily available ingredients. Try this recipe and discover how easy making paella can be.
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 cup chopped ripe tomatoes
- ¼ cup chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon saffron
- Kosher salt
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 2 cups chopped yellow onion
- 2 cups chopped green bell pepper
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon Acadiana Table Cajun Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup diced tasso sausage or smoked ham
- 1 pound smoked andouille sausage, sliced
- 4 cups of white jasmine rice, such as Supreme brand Louisiana jasmine
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 10 green beans, stems removed
- 1 pound extra jumbo (16/20) Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 1 dozen cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- For the sofrito, in a paella pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion, tomatoes, and garlic. Add the paprika, chili powder, and cumin, and stir to combine. Sauté the ingredients until they cook down to a paste, about 10 minutes. Move the sofrito to the outer edges of the pan.
- In a pot with a tight-fitting lid over high heat, add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the saffron, cover, and turn off the heat. Set aside for later use.
- In a paella pan over medium-high heat, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil along with the onion, celery, and bell pepper. Cook until the onions turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Move the vegetables to the outer edges of the pan.
- In the same pan, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the chicken with paprika, Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper, and add to the pan. Add the sausages and sauté until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.
- Begin the assembly by moving the sofrito and vegetables back to the center of the pan with the meats. Add all of the rice along with the stock. Stir to incorporate evenly and turn the fire to medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook uncovered for 20 minutes.
- Add the chopped rosemary and green beans to the pan. Do not stir the rice but move the pan around on the heat if it is not cooking evenly.
- Add the shrimp, green peas, and tomatoes, spreading them evenly in the pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and continue to cook on low heat.
- After 10 minutes, lift the cover and see that the shrimp are pink and cooked through. The dish is ready once the stock is absorbed and the rice is done. Cover, turn off the heat and let rest for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
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