Simple One-Pot Mixed Paella
It’s official, I’ve got a serious case of “Spain brain.”
You know — when you’re so excited for your summer trip to Spain that you can’t focus on anything else, including studying for finals.
Yeah, it’s pretty bad. Here I am trying to memorize the diagnostic criteria for Malnutrition and all I can think about is what I’m going to eat on my pilgrimage to Santiago (tons of paella).
If you’re confused because two weeks ago I mentioned I’m going to Italy, let me clarify.
In a month, I’m headed to Genoa for a 3-week course on Genes and Longevity as a part of my master’s nutrition program (it sounds glam but I’ve heard it’s grueling). After which, I’m headed to Barcelona, San Sebastian, Santiago, and Madrid on holiday (as the jet-setters call it).
I can barely contain my excitement. Spain has always been at the top of my travel list. I even tried to coerce my bridal party to take the bachelorette to Ibiza last year (that idea was quickly shut down by both my friends and then-fiancé).
But the time has finally come, and I am doing everything I can to savor this experience, namely by starting the fun now.
Manchego (a Spanish cheese, sorta like Parmesan) is prominently at the top of my grocery list, Cava (Spanish bubbly) is stocked in the mini bar, and I just downloaded Don Quixote on my kindle. Oh yeah, this is happening.
Best of all, I made my first successful batch of Paella.
Oh paella, I love it so. Anytime it’s on a menu, it’s going in my belly.
Aside from this recent delicious creation, I tried making paella once for a large group of friends on New Year’s Eve, and it was nothing short of a disaster — but that’s a story for another time.
This batch came out perfecto.
I was actually quite nervous to try it again after the catastrophe of December 31st, 2011, but I threw caution to the wind and went for it.
The process couldn’t have been simpler. This dish came together seamlessly, in under an hour, and with one pot, the clean up was a breeze.
Not only was it easy, it was also a hit with the fam. My mom and sister (who rarely likes anything I cook) were visting when I made it, and they both loved it.
As I sit here writing this post, my mom is actually in Tucson making the recipe for my Dad — I’ll get the verdict from him tomorrow.
Hopefully my mom doesn’t tell him how healthy it is before serving it, or he may be swayed.
I’ll tell you though. It’s super healthy — packed with veggies like asparagus, peppers, peas and artichokes, and overflowing with hearty grains and lean protein.
Not to toot my own horn, but if the paella in Spain is this delicious and nutritious, I might not come back.
- 1 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ½ lb Chicken, cubed
- 1 Onion, diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Green Bell Pepper
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1 C. Rice (Arborio, Bomba, Brown, White, Etc)
- 2 C. Chicken Stock
- 1 C. Diced Tomatoes
- 1 C. Frozen Peas
- ½ tsp. Safron
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 can Artichoke Hearts
- 1 C. Asparagus, chopped
- ½ lb Shrimp, raw (tail-on)
- Manchego Cheese
- Lemon Wedges
- Heat a large heavy pan over medium. Add olive oil. Once oil is warm, add chicken. Cook until browned, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add onion and garlic to pan. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Add peppers, continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add rice, stir. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add stock, tomatoes, and peas. Stir together, bring to a simmer.
- Add saffron, salt, pepper, artichoke, and asparagus. Return chicken to the pan.
- Stir everything together and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Uncover the pan and add the shrimp. Cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring continuously, until shrimp is pink.
- Add any extra salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with manchego cheese, lemon wedges, and parsley.
Hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I do!