Easy Weeknight Paella

Prep Time: 30 min | 30 min
Yield: Serves 4-6
  • 1 C Onion, diced
  • 1/2 C Green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 C Red pepper, diced
  • 1 T Garlic, minced
  • 2 C Bomba Rice
  • 1 Pinch Saffron
  • 2 each Chicken thigh & legs (separated & seasoned with salt & pepper)
  • 1/2 lb Large shrimp, shell on
  • 1/2 lb Mussels, scrubbed
  • 1/2 lb Clams, scrubbed
  • 3/4 C Dry chorizo, sliced
February 10, 2015


Different legends about the origin of paella are told all over the world.  The one I heard in culinary school is that a fisherman’s wife was sick, and so he went around his village and asked his neighbors what they had to spare so that he may cook his wife a meal that would make her well again.  One neighbor gave him a few mussels, the other a few shrimp, another a handful of rice, and so on.  He went home and created what we know today as paella, (with maybe a few helpful hints from his ailing wife).

Whatever the origin is, paella is a hearty, flavorful dish that both seafood lovers and haters can agree upon.  The mix of seafood with chicken and sausage nestled into saffron rice gives everyone the chance to enjoy the same dish.  We developed an easy version of paella that can be prepared in an hour or less.  To save time, prep the dish on the weekend and execute it when you get home from work and need a delicious meal to end the day with.


First, make a quick stock.  Shell the shrimp and cover with water in a pot and bring to a simmer.  Add a bay leaf and a splash of white wine.

In a paella pan or large saute pan, heat 2 T olive oil until shimmering.  Add the chicken legs and thighs and cook until brown on all sides, then remove from pan.  Sauté the onions and peppers in the pan.  Add the rice and begin to toast until fragrant, then add the saffron threads.  Next, add 2.5 cups of your stock and salt and pepper.  Nestle the chicken and clams, (openings facing down) into the rice, cover with foil, and put in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

When the rice is cooked, add the seafood to the rice mixture and turn the stovetop onto medium high.  Place the pan of rice, still covered, on the burner and allow to cook.  The goal is to get the bottom brown and crisp, a characteristic of a good paella.  Be patient!  It may take some time.  Check every so often by lifting the rice with a heatproof spatula.  When the mussels and clams are open, your paella is ready to serve!

Kathryn Wandrie is the head chef and co-owner of KC Catering. Though she is trained in French Classical Cuisine, she expands the boundaries of her culinary education by experimenting with new techniques, cuisines and methods. When she's not cheffing, you can find her on the family farm, spending time with family, or reading a good novel.

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