Paella is basically food of the gods…or the beautiful people of Spain, so basically the same thing. Lindsey (one of my best friends) and I are totally obsessed with all things Spanish. She spent about 9 months in the gorgeous city of Granada & since we’re both International Studies majors with focuses in Spanish our ideal Friday night involves us watching La Reina del Sur, drinking Spanish or Argentinean red wine, and cooking paella. Nothing is better.
Now I’m sure true Spaniards would cringe at my recipe. Although authentic is pretty much always the way to go, we have no patience when it comes to paella. When something tastes this good it’s really tough to wait the full 6-7 hours that a traditional paella would take to make. So, our recipe is a much faster, much easier version of this beloved Spanish dish. TexMex paella for the win!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 1/4 c brown rice
- 3/4 sweet onion, diced
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 10 oz. shrimp
- 1 tsp EVOO + spray
- 1 tsp saffron
- handful of chopped parsley (about 1/3 c.)
- 2 lemons, quartered
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 c. quartered artichoke hearts
- 1 1/2 chicken breasts (12 oz), cut into chunks
- 1/2 c. frozen peas
MAKES 4 servings
Start by cooking your rice (ideally in a rice cooker so you can ignore the rice while cooking everything else). Season the chicken and shrimp with salt & pepper and sauté the chicken in a large skillet with 1 tsp. olive oil and 4 cloves of garlic. Add in the shrimp after the chicken has turned white. If you need more oil, feel free to add olive oil spray.
Begin chopping up the veggies. Remove the chicken & shrimp from the skillet after fully cooked, and add in the veggies. Spray with olive oil and sauté for about 5 minutes until the onion is caramelized.
Next add the rice, paprika, saffron, chicken & shrimp to the skillet. The anticipation should be building – it’s practically paella. Let all the flavors sit together (for at least 5 minutes, I know patience is a virtue) and squeeze in the juice of one lemon. Stir it up and serve each plate with a lemon wedge and top it off with chopped parsley. QUE RICO.
Paella is definitely one of my all-time favorite foods. That said, it’s not the most diet-friendly meal, but I’ve made it much healthier than most traditional recipes. This paella ranks in at about 576 calories a serving which may seem like a lot, but the good thing about paella is that not an ingredient in it is bad for you! If you’re hoping for something a little lighter, you could replace the chicken with more veggies (asparagus & bell peppers are great in this) and use only olive oil spray. This just happens to be the way we like to make it and let me tell you, it’s seriously addictive.
Enjoy! Be sure to comment if you have a favorite way to make paella or if you try out the recipe and become an addict like us. Salud!