Inspired by Spanish Paella FlavoursI won’t pretend that I know paella like the Spanish do. Even at some of the best Spanish restaurants (outside of Spain), the paellas never seem to live up to my memory of the ones I had in Valencia. Moreover, Spanish friends say the best ones are actually the ones made at home. So this recipe isn’t meant to be authentic. Instead, it was inspired by the bursts of flavours I love from paella, transformed into a dish that can be easily recreated at home, with basic kitchenware.
Chicken & Shrimp Paella“Isn’t paella usually chicken or shrimp and not both?” Honestly, I don’t know – is it? But I wanted to eat both chicken and shrimp… So there! If you’re allergic to shrimps, feel free to exclude this from your version and replace it with about 100g more chicken. But the chicken is pretty paramount to the flavours, and shouldn’t simply be taken out of this recipe. It would need to be substituted with something like chorizo.
A 50-mins recipeJust to manage your expectations, it’s not the most simple or fastest recipe. But trust me, the flavours are going to be worth more than every second you put into it.
Chicken Thigh versus Chicken BreastI know it’s January and we’re all trying to eat healthy. But it’s important to use chicken thigh fillets and not substitute it with breast. Chicken thighs are much juicier. Indeed they have higher fat content, and these fats are exactly what we need to pump up the flavour of the rice – we also rely on some of these juices, so that we can use minimal about of added oil. Instead, I usually remove the skin of the thigh – the calories are hence not that much higher compared with the breast. But if you are looking to make chicken breast, check out my Recipe for Chicken Breast Stuffed with Piquillo Peppers and Cream Cheese, or these three flavourful ways to marinate your chicken breast.
Spanish Paella-Style One-Pot Chicken & Shrimp Rice
This paella-inspired rice packs a lot of fire-y flavours and definitely satisfies a paella-craving that can easily be made at home
- 150 g Chicken thigh fillet don’t substitute with breast!
- 200 g Fresh (raw) shrimps peeled
- 2 cloves Garlic sliced
- 1 Small white onion chopped
- 1 Red pepper chopped
- 2 tbsp Tomato paste concentrate
- 150 g Paella rice washed
- 250 ml Chicken stock
- 100 ml Hot water
- 4 tsp Smoked Paprika divide into two parts
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp White pepper
- Sea salt
- Chili flakes optional
- Olive oil
- Roughly cut chicken thigh into 1-2 inch cubes. Marinate with 1 tsp olive oil, half the paprika (2 tsp), white pepper, salt and chili flakes (if you like a spicy kick). Set aside.
- Heat a large pot to medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp of olive oil, sauté the garlic for 15-20 seconds, and add shrimps. Toss shrimps until they just turn orange – about 1-2 mins. They don’t need to be thoroughly cooked. Remove shrimps from pan (keep the juice) and set aside.
- Add 1 tsp olive oil into the same pan. Sauté onions and red peppers for 3-5 mins. Add paprika (2 tsp), turmeric and salt. Add tomato purée and mix.
- Add the chicken chunks and fry them for about 2-3 mins until the outer layer looks cooked. They don’t need to be thoroughly cooked at this point.
- Add the rice. Toss and incorporate for about 5 mins.
- Add the chicken stock and extra water. Turn the heat to low-medium, and cover and let it boil for about 10 mins.
- Add back in the shrimp and its juices. Cover again, until the rice absorbs all the liquids, about 10 mins.
- Toss, mix and serve!