Recipe: Paella

Paella Pleaser: Chef Joseph Olson, who moved from Birmingham’s Forest Grill to Cinco Lagos in Milford a few months ago, serves his tasty variation of the Spanish favorite

One advantage, Olson says, is that cooks may easily vary the preparation to make it their own. “Paella is truly an inspiring dish,” he says. “Creating the recipe all in one pan, you can stand back and watch the ingredients build upon each other.” Far from being complicated, he says paella is a dish anyone can make, and the variations are endless.

> Paella

(Serves 8)

Olive oil

8 shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 pound Spanish or Mexican chorizo

1 onion, small dice

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound ripe tomatoes, diced

1-1/2 tablespoons Spanish paprika

1 teaspoon saffron

1 pound short-grain rice

1 quart sodium-free chicken stock

1/2 cup white wine

1 red bell pepper, roasted over an open fire, peeled, and julienned

1 poblano pepper, roasted over an open fire, peeled, and julienned

1/2 of whole cooked chicken, shredded

1 cup cooked peas

4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste


Photograph by Joe Vaughn

Heat oil in large skillet or paella pan. Sear shrimp in skillet and remove. Using additional olive oil, if needed, brown the chorizo, remove, drain, and set aside.

In the same skillet, sauté the onions and garlic in the excess oil from the chorizo until golden brown. Add diced tomatoes, paprika, and saffron. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated to form a paste. Add the rice and toast for 1 minute, stirring continuously.

In a separate pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the white wine to the toasted rice and cook 1 minute. Then add the warm chicken stock and slowly simmer. Fold in peppers and cover the pot when almost all liquid is gone. The paella is done when the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.

Just before serving, fold in the sautéed shrimp, cooked chorizo, shredded chicken, and peas to warm.

To serve, spoon rice into bowls and garnish with chopped parsley and extra virgin olive oil.