The mistake most beginners make is they skimp on the sofrito ingredients and think it is only the seafood and chicken that matters. The majority of the flavor comes from the Olive Oil, Pork, Spices, Peppers, and Tomato that are used in the sofrito. We are not talking about bland tomato rice here! We are talking about rice that bursts with flavor and re-affirms to you why Paella is such a talked about dish!
We find this recipe to be ideal for a 40cm (16 inch) pan – serves about 9.
10 pieces Split Chicken Wings or Wing Drumettes
1 Lb Pork Short Ribs (have your butcher cut the ribs into 1″ sections, crosswise cutting the bones)
½ Lb Shrimp (with shells)
3 large Scallops cut in half (or 6 small)
1 Lb Assorted Mussels and Clams
½ to 1 cup Tomate Frito, tomato sauce, or tomato puree.
4 Cloves Garlic (minced or chopped)
3-6 Piquillo Peppers (sliced into strips) plus a few strips reserved to use as garnish
½ cup Peas
1 cup Green Beans (cut into 1″ sections)
1 tsp. Saffron Threads or ¼ to ½ tsp. Powdered
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cups Paella Rice
4-6 cups Shellfish Broth (recipe below) or substitute Chicken Broth or bouillon.
Salt to taste
Prep Time/ Cook Time
30 minutes preparation, 35 minutes cooking (cooking time may vary depending on the type of burner/stove/oven you are using)
To make the shellfish broth:
- Boil the mussels and clams in 6 cups of water until the shells start to open. Drain, reserve the liquid, and discard any unopened shells.
For the sofrito:
- Add the Olive Oil to the Paella Pan and Sauté the Chicken Wings and Pork for 5-10 minutes under medium-high heat.
- Add the Tomate Frito, Piquillo Peppers, and Garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes more.
Build the Paella:
- Add the Rice and stir the mixture to coat, about 1 minute.
- Add the Peas, Green Beans, Shrimp, Scallops, and Saffron. Stir under medium heat for 1 minute to incorporate the mixture.
- Add the hot Shellfish Broth (recipe is listed above) to the Rice Mixture (add 6 cups if using Bomba Rice, otherwise add 4 cups.)
- Add Salt to taste (it is best to add less at first, as the seafood releases salt while cooking.)
- Arrange the Mussels, Clams, and the Piquillo Peppers reserved as garnish onto the surface of the paella.
- Continue cooking until rice is almost done, but still firm in the center (Al Dente.)
- Garnish with lemon wedges and enjoy the best Paella of your life!
Tips for Beginners
Paella is more of an art than a science, so it may take a little practice to be able to make it quickly. These tips may help:
- Have your ingredients cleaned, chopped, and measured in individual bowls so that you may add them quickly when the recipe is cooking.
- Be sure to use a big enough burner or stove for your pan. Ideally, you wand a medium-low flame that is dispersed over the entire bottom of the pan.
- Cooking times are approximate; lower heat = longer cooking time, higher heat = faster cooking time (but at the risk of burning.)
- The amount of liquid to add to the rice varies depending on the rice variety and the other ingredients you have added to the paella. When the cooking is half way done, feel free to add a little more liquid to the pan if the rice seems too dry.
- If the rice doesn’t seem to be cooking properly around the edges because the burner/stove you are using is just a little too small, you may partially cover the edges of the pan to help retain heat and ensure even cooking.
We are so excited to be growing our Denica’s family with our fourth location, opening this November in our hometown of Castro Valley! This town is where James and I both grew up, met, fell in love, and started our business. The location is 60% larger than our other 3 locations, with a big kitchen and lots of seats. We will have our signature train table for the kiddos! Thank you for your warm welcome, CV!
Kale is the superfood we love to eat! Try this yummy power packed green at one of our cafes. It’s veggie-centric…loaded with lots of good organic freshness like avocados, cucumber, baby tomatoes, mushrooms….all in our housemade lemon basil vinagrette.
Try these techniques to change your state of awareness, in other words, engage the right side of your brain. At the very least, they will give you a few minutes of relaxation in our busy lives. Turn off the phones, the TV, and try this:
Draw Upside Down
Open Your Focus