Chicken and Seafood Paella

by Sep 21, 2014

I got curious about paella after enjoying the party-sized lobster paellas made by Richard Poncini out in Half Moon Bay, California. After I moved to Montana he talked me through his sofrito method on the phone. Paella making should be fun, so don’t stress out or you’ll ruin things. Seek out short-grain Spanish paella rice like Bomba or Calasparra, but you can substitute Arborio.

Please see Seafood Paella for an alternative recipe if you don’t want chicken.

Chicken and Seafood Paella

serves 6–8 people


The Chicken & Shrimp

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt or Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dry red chile flake
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shrimp per person

The Onions, "Sofrito"

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon paprika or smoked paprika
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced and masehd with a pinch of salt

The Rice

  • cups paella rice 1 pound Spanish like Arroz Calasparra, Bomba, or substitute Arborio
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 4 cups broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or Kosher salt

The Extras

  • mussels or clams (2 pieces per person)
  • Spanish or Basque Chorizo, sliced into ¼-inch rounds Idaho Falls brand is good
  • 2 roasted red peppers from jar, sliced into thin strips or 1 freshly roasted red bell pepper, charred skin and seeds removed, sliced into thin strips
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen peas


  1. Cook Chicken & Shrimp: Rub the paprika, sea salt, rosemary and chili pepper flakes all over the chicken pieces. Drizzle oil into 15-inch paella pan set on stovetop over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned. Remove to plate. Brown shrimp (if using) in pan 2 minutes, remove to plate.

  2. Sofrito: Add olive oil to paella pan set over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, paprika, and garlic and scrape pan from outside into center. Cook about 2 more minutes.

  3. Rice: Add the rice and cook for a minute. Add 1 cup white wine and saffron, boil for a minute. Add broth/water, sprinkle with salt, bring to boil, add back the chicken and cook, stirring every minute or so for 10 minutes; get rice in an even layer then arrange the chorizo slices, shrimp, shellfish, peppers and peas on top of the boiling rice; lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cover with foil and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.


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