Classic Seafood Paella Recipe

If ever there were a dish more closely associated with a country than paella is with Spain, we're having a hard time thinking about what it is right now. Maybe it's the gorgeous images chef and recipe developer Catherine Brookes of Blue Sky Eating captured while creating her take on this Spanish classic that's contributing to the brain fog, not to mention the rumbling in the stomach they tend to cause.

Originally a Valencian dish, paella is indeed now treated by many as the national dish of Spain, but given the globalized world we live in, you won't have to visit the Iberian Peninsula to get your hands on the ingredients needed for this succulent seafood-centric treat. Rather, everything you need should be down the street at your local grocery store. (Well, the saffron may be a bit hard to find. And the squid, but we'll talk about that later.) Also, you don't have to be a master chef in order to make this Mediterranean meal. Brookes says, "There are quite a few steps to the recipe, but it's actually all quite simple and definitely worth the wait."

So grab a glass of wine or a cup of tea, gather your ingredients, and let's get this dish cooking. It's a slow and steady simmer to perfection.

Gather the ingredients for classic seafood paella

Here's the thing: Unless you can pull all the ingredients from the sea yourself and can harvest saffron at that, paella isn't the cheapest dish to make. But your taste buds are worth the investment. All told, you'll need fish stock, saffron (Just a pinch, though!), diced chorizo, raw squid rings, diced onion, diced red pepper, crushed cloves of garlic, smoked paprika, a 14-ounce can of chopped tomatoes, some white wine, paella rice, raw large shell-on prawns, and debearded mussels. (They probably came from the store that way, but double check.)

If you can't get your hands on any squid, Brookes says, "[You may be able to substitute with] chicken or cod. Or you could just add more prawns and mussels."

Prepare the stock, and fry the chorizo and squid

To start things off, heat the fish stock in a pan on the stove over high heat, warming the liquid until it begins to boil. (You can also heat it in the microwave for about two minutes.) Then, cut the heat, add the saffron to the stock, stir it well, and it set aside.

Next, in a lightly greased 12-inch paella pan (or the closest pan you have to such), fry the diced chorizo on a medium heat until the meat is crisp and browned. Remove the chorizo from the pan into a bowl, and set it aside, then add the squid rings to the same pan. Fry those for one minute on each side, then remove them from the pan to another bowl, and set the squid aside.

Bring the veggies and rice together in stages

Add the diced onion and pepper to the same pan used for the sausage and squid, and fry them until they softened, stirring frequently. (This will take about six to eight minutes.) Then, add the garlic and paprika, and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.

Next, add the canned tomatoes with their liquid, the white wine, and some salt and pepper to taste. Stir, and let the mixture cook for 10 minutes.

Next, add the paella rice, and stir everything together. Then, add the chorizo and fish stock, and stir briefly. Bring the dish to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, and do not stir the paella again after this point. "This will allow a crispy crust of rice to form on the bottom layer of the pan, as is traditional with Spanish paella," Brookes says. Leave the dish to cook for 15 minutes at that simmer point.

Add the seafood and keep simmering, then serve

After the 15 minutes of simmering have passed, nestle the prawns, squid rings, and mussels into the rice, and let the paella cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the prawns are completely cooked through, noting that you may need to turn the prawns half way through cooking. When ready, the prawns should be pink all over, and the mussel shells should be open. (Discard any mussels that don't open.)

Remove the pan from the heat, cover it with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. Then, serve the dish with fresh lemon wedges and fresh parsley, which are optional but advised! You will now be looking at a colorful masterpiece — one that your family or guests will be quite impressed with. So, sit back, and enjoy this delicious dish!

Got some leftover? Brookes says, "You could keep any leftovers in the fridge and eat them within 24 hours. To reheat, spread the paella out on a baking sheet, sprinkle over three tablespoons of water, and cover it with foil. Then heat it in the oven until it's piping hot [for] about 20 minutes."

Classic Seafood Paella Recipe
5 from 34 ratings
This recipe for classic seafood paella will become a new favorite in your home.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
55
minutes
Servings
6
Servings
a pan of paella
Total time: 65 minutes
Ingredients
  • 3 cups fish stock
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 4.5 ounces chorizo, diced
  • 7 ounces raw squid rings
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup white wine
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 9 ounces paella rice
  • 7 ounces raw large shell on prawns
  • 7 ounces raw mussels, debearded
Optional Ingredients
  • fresh parsley, for serving
  • lemon wedges, for serving
Directions
  1. Heat the fish stock in a pan on the stove until it begins to boil (or in the microwave for about 2 minutes).
  2. Add the saffron to the stock, stir, and set aside.
  3. In a 12-inch paella pan, fry the diced chorizo on medium heat until crisp and browned. Then, remove from the pan into a bowl, and set aside.
  4. Add the squid rings to the pan, and fry for 1 minute on each side. Then, remove from the pan to another bowl, and set aside.
  5. Add the diced onion and diced red pepper to the pan, and fry until softened, stirring frequently, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic and paprika, and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.
  7. Add the canned tomatoes, white wine, and some salt and pepper to taste. Stir, and let the mixture cook for 10 minutes.
  8. Add the paella rice, and stir everything together.
  9. Add the chorizo and fish stock, and stir briefly. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. (Do not stir the paella again after this point.)
  10. Leave to cook for 15 minutes.
  11. Nestle the prawns, squid, and mussels into the rice, and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until they're completely cooked through. (You may need to turn the prawns halfway through cooking.)
  12. Remove the pan from the heat, cover it with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  13. Serve with fresh lemon wedges and fresh parsley.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 395
Total Fat 11.3 g
Saturated Fat 3.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 147.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 44.3 g
Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
Total Sugars 3.6 g
Sodium 938.0 mg
Protein 25.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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