Paella is an absolute corner stone of Spanish cooking. It’s a dish I’ve been making for almost two decades and love it every single time. This Chicken & Shrimp version is family friendly and easy to make. Fancy enough for weekend entertaining and easy enough for mid week dinners.
If you think you’ve seen this before, you have. Way back in the early days of the blog, I posted this recipe. But after five years of writing this little ol’ blog, I felt this particular recipe was crying out for an update.
I absolutely love this dish and I want you to love it as well. But the photos were keeping it out of the spotlight and i felt it deserved a second chance.
What is Paella
Paella is a Spanish rice dish that comes from Valencia. Originally made with mostly seafood, a saffron infused stock and rice but has spun many varieties over the years. It’s easy to make and generally loved by most.
If you’ve never had a paella, you’re in for a treat! It’s the most basic stove top dinner and you can make it as fancy as you like.
Today, we’re keeping it family friendly with just chicken & shrimp. Feel free to take your spin and add what you like.
So, let’s see how we make it!
Paella is traditionally done with loads of seafood. However, this one is keeping it kid friendly with chicken and shrimp. I’m also using chicken stock in this recipe, but if you prefer for more of a seafood flavour, use fish stock.
And like always, the full ingredient list will be found at the bottom in the recipe.
Let’s Start Cooking the Chicken & Shrimp Paella
Get started by dicing up the onions, peppers and tomatoes. You can cut them as small as you like. I prefer about a one inch size.
Next up, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in the paella pan with the garlic.
You do not need a paella pan, any large skillet will do just fine.
Add The Chopped Vegetables
Next up, add the peppers and onions and give a really good stir. Cook them for about 5 – 8 minutes until they are pretty soft and and have browned.
Then toss in the chopped tomatoes.
Cooking With Wine
Okay, I love to cook the tomatoes down in wine. It’s totally not traditional, but it’s my way. I like to simmer the tomatoes down in the white wine for a further 5 minutes or so for extra flavour.
Not using wine, no problem
Don’t worry, if you don’t want to use the wine. You can just skip it and simmer down the tomatoes naturally for about 5 – 8 minutes and adding a splash of stock if it sticks to the pan.
Adding the Chicken & Rice
Next up, add the chopped chicken and give a really good stir. Just brown it for 2 – 3 minutes. We don’t need to fully cook it as it’s going to cook in the stock.
Push the chicken and vegetables to one side of the pan and add the remaining olive oil Add the rice and stir to coat completely in the oil. Then stir it into the chicken and vegetables.
Add the Stock
We add all the stock at once and give it a good stir. Well, we hold back 1/2 cup/120 ml for the end. But add all apart from that small amount. Then we reduce heat to medium low and leave it alone. Like don’t touch it! Let it just simmer, cook and allow the stock to reduce. This will take 15 – 20 minutes.
Adding the shrimp, peas and extra stock
Okay, so now we’re going to toss in those shrimp, peas and the extra stock. Flatten it out with a wooden spoon and leave it to cook for a further five minutes or so.
Remove it from the heat and leave it for about 10 minute before serving.
Fresh Off The Stove And Ready To Serve
The Paella is best served about 10 minutes after cooking. And ALWAYS with lemon wedges. It’s a must, so don’t skip out on the lemon, it’s just a fresh and delicious part of any traditional paella.
Can I Make it in advance and Serve it Later
The simple answer is no. Paella is best fresh. Think about risotto and you’ll know what I mean. However, paella is a little more forgiving, it’s still best fresh.
That being said, we’ve eaten it leftover more times than I can count. But I would never make it in advance to eat later.
However, you can do all the prep work in advance and then cook it when you are ready to eat. If I’m making this for guests, I always get the prep work done before hand. Then just pour a glass of wine and cook when you’re ready!
Other seafood suggestions for Paella
Paella is traditionally a complete seafood dish. But I try to keep it friendly for my non seafood loving teens. So, here’s a few other options that you might like to try out in your paella if you’re all in for seafood.
To start, mussels are great, as are clams. And if you want to add fish any kind of firm white fish goes great.
I’ve had this cooked in every way imaginable with all kinds of seafood and even meats. In fact, in our house, my husband was the first to cook this dish.
That was the summer of 2001 and it was at a campsite on a small camp stove on the ground. He used a recipe from The Lonely Planet Guide to Spain. I was impressed! It was delicious and I think the two of us ate the whole pan and drank more than our share of wine that night.
The good ol’ days.
Hungry For More Spanish Inspired Food, Then Take a Look at these dishes
- Spanish Omelette (Tortilla de Patatas)
- Chorizo & Chicken Paella
- Tostada con Tomato (Toast with Tomatoes)
- Moroccan Spiced Pork Kebabs
- Boquerones Fritos (Pan Fried Anchovies)
- Empanada de Carne (Spiced Meat Patties)
Like I said in the opening statement, we’ve been enjoying this Chicken & Shrimp Paella at home for almost 20 years. It is an absolute dinner rotation and also one i keep in mind for guests.
I hope you get a chance to enjoy it sometime. Make it this summer for a weekend get together and open a bottle of chilled wine! Treat yourself and enjoy some great food.
I’ll see you all in a few days and hope everyone’s having a pretty good weekend. And remember, keep on cooking!
Chicken & Shrimp Paella
- 2 cups short grain white rice
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup white wine
- Pinch saffron
- 1 Teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 Teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 Teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion roughly chopped
- 1 small red pepper roughly chopped
- 2 small tomatoes diced
- 2 Chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
- 1 lb raw shrimp peeled and cleaned and tails kept in tact
- 1/2 Cup green peas thawed
- 4 Garlic cloves crushed
- In a medium saucepan heat stock and keep on low covered. Meanwhile infuse the saffron in a couple of tablespoons of cold water. Leave the saffron to infuse for about 15 minutes and then add it to the stock.
- In a mortar and pestle add the paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, ground black pepper, rosemary and oregano. Give a good stir and add to the stock. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover and turn off heat.
- In a medium size paella pan or skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add garlic over a medium heat. Add onions and red pepper. Cook on medium heat until browned and soft, 5 – 8 minutes.
- Then add the tomatoes and give a good stir. Pour in all the cooking wine and stir. Leave the wine to reduce for about 5 – 8 minutes.
- Add the chicken to the pan and give a good stir to brown the chicken for about 2 – 3 minutes.
- Push the chicken and vegetables to one side of the pan and add the remaining olive oil and pour in all the rice. Stir well to completely coat the rice in the oil. And then stir the rice into the chicken and vegetables.
- Pour in 4 1/2 cups of the stock and stir. Reduce heat to low and leave to cook for about 15 – 20 minutes or until the stock has absorbed.
- Add shrimp, peas and remaining 1/2 cup of stock. Give a gentle stir and leave to cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and leave to stand for about 10 minutes. Serve fresh with lemon wedges.
*A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.