Friday, August 9, 2013

Sausage & Shrimp Paella – Before You Run, You Walk, Or In This Case, Crawl

When I first do a version of a classic dish like paella, I try to use a minimum of number of ingredients and steps so we focus on the technique. So, while you experienced paella makers will probably find this quite unremarkable, it really is intended for the first-timer. 

Real paella is not baked, but cooked on top of a fire, which results in a similarly textured rice to what you see here, except a layer caramelizes onto the bottom of the pan, and those gloriously crunchy bits are considered the best part. So, basically I’m telling you we left out the best part.

The trade-off is that this method eliminates most of the finesse and monitoring required by the traditional method. Consider this a gateway paella, and the first step to a serious, lifelong addiction. Besides the method, ideally you’ll use a wider variety of ingredients; things like clams, mussels, squid, chicken are all very commonly used, and will make your rice that much more interesting.

No matter how you cook you paella, one thing you must try to include is the saffron. Besides the short-grain rice, this is probably the most key addition. Unfortunately, the flavor and aroma are almost impossible to describe, so you really need to experience it yourself to fully understand. I’ve heard it described using things like “earthy metallic honey,” and “rusty champagne,” but these really don’t do it justice.

Anyway, if you’ve never tried to make paella before, I really hope this inspires you to give it a go. The Arborio we use here is easy to find in the big grocery stores, and as long as you stick to the liquid/rice ratio, there’s not a lot that can go wrong. And like I said in the video, stay tuned for my future attempt at a more classic version. In the meantime, I hope you give this quick and easy paella a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 large portions:
(best to use a 12 or 13 inch wide skillet)

For the saffron broth:
2 tsp olive oil
reserved shrimp shells from 1 pound of jumbo shrimp
1/2 to 1 tsp saffron threads, depending on how strong you want the flavor
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
*Simmer for 20 minutes, strain and reserve. Be sure to season generously with salt, or your rice will be bland.

For the paella:
1 tbsp olive oil
8 oz sliced chorizo sausage, or any smoky, spicy sausage
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/3 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup green peas
1 tsp regular or smoked paprika, optional depending on how much was in the sausage
2 cups (exactly) hot saffron broth, or just plain hot chicken broth
1 pound peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp
1 sweet red pepper, cut into thin strips
salt and cayenne to taste
garnish top with a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and freshly chopped Italian parsley
lemon wedges, optional (some love lemon, I prefer without, but give it a try and see)

*Bake at 425 degrees F. for 20 minutes, then finish over med-high flame until rice is just tender. It will be firm and slightly sticky. Don’t burn it, but you can leave it on the flame a little longer to try and get the rice to caramelize and crust onto the bottom of the pan, like the classic version. Be careful.

38 comments:

PhillyBear said...

Chef, this looks great...We don't all have the "real" equipment or even access to some of the ingredients of the traditional. So, a user-friendly paella is something i think we all need. Plus, as always, you crack me up! thank again!

Farah Rafeek Khan said...

If I wanted to do chicken instead of the sausage, when would that go in?

Jackie Reynolds said...

I have been wishing for this for a long time! Why didn't I ask for it? I dunno.
Thanks, Chef John. This will be coming to my table in the very near future!

Chef John said...

Depends on the size and kind, but boneless chunks could be done like the sausage.

Jackie Reynolds said...

I have had chicken thighs in Paella. I like the idea of the sausage better, tho'.

Jackie Reynolds said...

One word---raclette.

snowflake said...

So this is the first time i heard sounds other than your voice...cool!
Sizzle sizzle!

Mark Anderson said...

This looks great, CJ. Our Sunday meal! Thanks so much.

Ed Adams said...

I can't wait to make this Chef, thanks for the recipe. Since it's the middle of summer and the oven is strictly off limits until it cools off again, I'll wait until late October to make this. Until then my stomach will just rumble. If you would post a traditional paella that doesn't go in the oven then I could make it right now :) Cheers.

CWR032 said...

Ed's comment makes me wonder how well this dish would finish if it was cooked covered on the stove instead of in the oven, partly for the same reason he mentioned and partly because I don't have a large skillet that's oven-safe. I may just have to give it a try.

Sue Button said...

is there an alternet for the saffron since it is an expensive spice?

Chef John said...

There is no substitute.

Chef John said...

Yes it will. Like I said in the video, that's the traditional method.

Ed Adams said...

Look like it's time to head to the store, get some Saffron and finish this on the stove. It will be one of the dinner's this week. Can't wait to give it a try. Thanks to you Chef (of course) and CWR032 for asking.

Sandra from Montreal said...

Mmmm...sounds good! Love it when you speak French, Chef! :)

Laramis said...

Thank you so much for this simple version. I have never made this before because it looked so complicated. Speaking of shrimp- you have bacon wrapped shrimp recipes? Thanks again!

Chewy2 said...

When out of saffron, I have used turmeric instead - for color. Different flavor though.

Edward A. Voss said...

Chef John, this recipe was PERFECT for a Sunday get-together between my parents and my friend and I. Between the four of us we polished it off in no time and barely had room for dessert (a pie based on your pie recipe, also came out well!)

We did find chorizo to be very oily, so we skimmed out some of the fat. The spices in the chorizo helped make the dish, though. Thank you!

mattjeast said...

Chef, do you think it'd be possible to par-cook brown rice for ~20 minutes and substitute that in for the arborio? Just typing that out seems kind of blasphemous, but I have all of the other ingredients at home minus regular white or arborio rice.

Chef John said...

It could work! Give it a try!

PJ Mullen said...

Great recipe, Chef John. My cooktop burners aren't working at the present, so I did the whole thing using the oven and a 15" cast iron pan. I left the pan in the oven as it preheated. It probably took a few minutes longer to assemble because I didn't have direct heat on the pan, but 20 minutes after I added the stock I had a wonderful paella with the crunchy bits. I can only assume this is because of preheating the pan and I toasted the arborio for a few minutes extra to account for the lack of direct heat.

Steve DaSilva said...

Chef John, you are the man. I'm a beginner cook (8 years). Cooking is my hobby and you make the best recipes to follow. I enjoy cooking your stuff. Keep it up.

Allyson Coltrane said...

Can you use saffron infused Arborio rice would it have the same effect as if you added it in the broth?

Lap Duy Nguyen Thien said...

Could i use normal rice ? I don't have Aborio rice !

Lap Duy Nguyen Thien said...

Chef John ! I'm 13 years old, know and like to cook European dishes but i don't have Aborio rice so could i use white rice ?

Clear as Mud said...

I made this last night. The rice and veggies came out perfectly, but the shrimp was way dried out and tough. I may have sprinkled a bit of salt on top of the shrimp before going into the oven, would that account for drying them out so much?

jose manuel said...

Thanks for the video and recipe. I was searching for Paella recipe. It helped me!
paella

Mandarina said...

I'm a pescetarian. I have an idea of what I can substitute the sausages with (soja meat). But does someone knows what can I use instead of the chicken juice? Thank you. Please!

Therese Haas said...

glad I did a search first. I just bought what I thought was a deep dish pizza pan. I get home and on the bottom it has a sticker says its a paella pan. it has never been used. I hope your next recipe shows how to season it. but then again I don't think I can wait I'm going to try this recipe now. had no idea what a paella was until I saw this video. thanks for coming to my rescue rescue Chef John.

Uhnon Eemuss said...

This is really delish! We altered the spices a little and added a jalapeƱo with the onions because we enjoy really spicy food but the technique is perfect. I never considered paella for a week night meal but this method made it schedule friendly. I also am surprised that I enjoyed the shrimp. Though it was dry, the flavor was intense. I think the shrimp shell saffron broth is a requirement. So good.

Chewy2 said...

This was my food wish (I'm sure I wasn't the only one) and I never thanked you, so thank you! It's probably the only dish I can make without a recipe. In fact, it's on the stovetop right now! We have about three feet of snow, otherwise it would be on a fire in the backyard.

I so enjoy your videos and my family enjoys the results. I love to cook and you help me to be much better at it! Thanks!

cris tailor said...

It is a great recipe chef. The sausage and shrimp combination was so drooling that I was very tempted to try out the dish. I have tried out the dish with chicken cocktail sausage and believe me it has come out really well, infact finger licking good I would say.

Elad Cohen said...

This is delicious!
When is the more traditional version being released? Can't wait!

HB Dallas said...

Excellent dish and prep! Made it a few times and it works like a charm. Would like to know the rice and broth amounts for a 15 and 18 inch pan. Have only done it in a 12 inch Paella pan. Also I have found a local source for Calasparra rice and wonder if the ratios are the same as Arborio. Chef your videos are awesome!

Greg said...

I substituted Asparagus for the peas as a matter of taste for the family. Oh my, the aroma through the apartments was so...

Thanks Chef John. I've learned so much from you.

Krysten Erk said...

Hi Chef! I've made this several times and it's delicious! Though I chop up little red chili peppers instead of red bell peppers (your constant use of cayenne has opened me up to spicy and I looooveee it) and often throw in clams or scallops when I have them. Yum! I was wondering if you can do this in a cast iron skillet instead of stainless steel? I want to make this for my parents when I go home and visit and they only have cast iron pans. Would I have to do anything differently?

Novonia said...

Hi Chef John, I'm looking forward to making this next week - unfortunately my room-mate had the shopping duties this week and bought the raw form of chorizo in a plastic tube, how different is that from the form you have used (is the other kind smoked, dried, or just pre-cooked)? Could I and how would I substitute this form of chorizo instead? Do I just cook it and add it in? I don't think it would slice all that well since its so squishy in this state.
If its not workable what would you suggest using the 'fresh' chorizo on?
I appreciate any help and look forward to see your next food wish.

Chef John said...

It's quite a different texture, but you can still use it, just like raw sausage on a pizza.