Easy Skillet Paella
Bring a bit of sunny Spain into your kitchen and make Easy Skillet Paella. Paella is filling, nourishing, and rich with fresh seafood and saffron-infused rice. Home cooks may find paella intimidating as we often see pros stirring it for big crowds in gigantic, shallow pans. However, this recipe is approachable and made with the home cook in mind. No special paella pan is needed and the recipe is scaled down to a manageable family size. All you need is a 12″ skillet with a lid (or use tinfoil as a lid if need be).
Fresh, high-quality ingredients are a must for great paella. All items in this recipe are easily found at your local New Seasons Market. New Seasons is truly one-stop shopping as it carries authentic paella rice, domestic clam juice, fresh vegetables, spices, and the freshest mussels and shrimp – all key to an amazing finished dish. I also add andouille sausage from Niman Ranch, while not traditional in paella, it adds meaty richness and salt to the finished dish.
A word on rice: paella uses “bomba rice” which is a short-grain variety of rice, primarily cultivated in the eastern parts of Spain. Long grain varieties are available options, but I find their textures rather gummy. Asian short-grain are also not quite suitable for paella. Fortunately New Seasons sells Bomba rice. The brand is Matiz and and is packaged in a cute cloth sack. The rice looks like this:
This post was sponsored by New Seasons Market
Easy Skillet Paella
Serves 4 to 6 people
Time about one hour
1 pound extra large uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
I link of Niman Ranch andouille sausage (or spicy sausage of your choice), sliced 1/2″ thick
1/2 medium yellow onion, minced
1/2 red pepper, minced (snack on the other half while cooking)
Leaves from two sprigs of fresh thyme
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Bomba Rice, I like Matiz brand
2 (8-ounce) bottles of clam juice, I like Bar Harbor brand
1 (14.5) ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 tsp saffron threads, crumbled
10-12 fresh mussels, scrubbed and debearded
3/4 cup frozen peas
Lemon wedges for serving
Red pepper flakes for serving (optional)
- Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels, then season with the chili powder and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Add the shrimp and cook until curled and pink on both sides, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover with foil.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet and return to medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the sausage and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the sausage to the bowl with the shrimp, leaving the fat in the skillet.
- Add the onion, red pepper, and thyme to the fat in the skillet and return to medium heat. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in the rice and cook until the grains are sizzling and lightly toasted, about 1 minute.
- Stir in the clam juice, tomatoes, and saffron, scraping up and browned bits. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
- Off the heat, stir in the cooked shrimp and sausage. Arrange the clams over the top and sprinkle in the peas. Cover, return to medium heat, and cook until the shellfish have opened. About 7 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and let stand, covered for 5 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve with lemon wedges and optional red pepper flakes.
Recipe modified from America’s Test Kitchen