Originating in coastal Spain, traditional Spanish Paella starts with a flavor base called sofrito. Sofrito is typically chopped vegetables such as garlic, tomatoes, onion and red peppers. The longer it cooks the darker and more flavorful the paella becomes. Unlike risotto that needs constant stirring, in paella once rice is stirred in with the cooked sofrito it is left alone to cook. For the best results be sure to use the freshest seafood possible and of course our family grown Red Gold Tomatoes!
- Heat olive oil in a large paella pan or large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and chorizo and cook until brown on both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, onion, and bell pepper; sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened; don't let the garlic burn. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add rice and crumble in the saffron to the skillet, stir to coat the rice and toast for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add both stocks, tomatoes, and paprika; bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until rice has absorbed much of the liquid, about 20 minutes.
- Turn heat back up to medium, stir in peas. Press the clams and mussels into the rice, hinge-side down and cook just until the shells open, about 5 to 7 minutes. Nestle the shrimp into the rice and cook an additional 2 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adjust as needed. Discard any unopened shells.
- Remove from heat, squeeze lemon over the pan and sprinkle with parsley before serving. Serve with additional lemon wedges.
Cook's Note: Saffron can be expensive, you can look for it at discount home stores in the gourmet food section. If you cannot find saffron, you can substitute with tumeric or safflower. Both will give you the color of traditional paella, but you will need to be careful that you don't turn your dish into curry.