This recipe is neither simple, nor quick. However, even though it is an involved, time consuming recipe there are really only 5 main ingredients (not counting oil and seasonings) and 5 main steps.
This really wasn’t the BEST time for me to be attempting a recipe like this. I was elbow deep in preparations for my first 100% paid for, all inclusive Success Club trip with Beachbody – but once I get something in my head, it’s hard to push it aside. Now, mind you, I have NEVER made anything like this before and I was a little doubtful it would end up tasting good at all!
Let me tell you – Fernando and I were supposed to go on a date last night, and we literally scooped up the paella into a tupperware container and ate it at a park because we did not even want anything else from a restaurant – hahahah! It was so FREAKING good!
Here’s what I did!
Step 1 – Make the Rice.
I found this Vigo Saffron Yellow Rice at my local Publix. It makes it so easy because it has all the seasoning in it already! So I got the Family Size and just put it in a pot with 4 cups of water. I think I may have had it on a little too high heat, so the water was mostly gone and the rice still seemed undercooked, so I ended up adding one more cup of water and it was perfect.
After the rice was done I set it aside.
Step 2 – Chicken Thighs
I decided to do a chicken and seafood Paella – when it comes to Paella, you can pretty much throw anything in there that you want. So I got some chicken thighs with the skin and I heated some oil and put salt on the skin and placed them in the pan to get the skin brown and crispy. I had to use two pans for this because I don’t have one that is big enough for all of the chicken. On one of the pans I put the lid on – BIG MISTAKE – it added too much moisture to the pot and the skin didn’t brown well. Keep the lid off and let the oil sear the skin.
After I turned the chicken I added some Paprika, dried Rosemary, Garlic Powder, 1/2 sliced onion, a few red and yellow peppers sliced into strips and let it cook a little more. Then, put all the chicken in one pot with the lid and placed it in a 350 degree oven.
Step 3 – Chorizo
Once the chicken was in the oven to cook a little more, I took out my chorizo. I mistakenly bought Mexican chorizo – it wasn’t the BEST. You really want Spanish chorizo for this dish, but it still gave some good flavor! I just cut it into small pieces and let it get crispy in a saute pan.
Step 4 – Muscles
I had a pack of frozen Muscles from Aldi – super low quality, but it REALLY added some flavor and that subtle sea food taste that just MADE it. So I open the frozen bag and dumped it into one of the pans I had used to sear the chicken in – so it still had some of the paprika, rosemary, garlic powder oil in there. I covered the muscles with a lid and let the moisture steam them.
Step 5 – Assemble
Now that everything was cooked, I got the two medium sized pots (one large pot would be ideal, but it’s all I had) and put 1/2 the rice in each one. I then added the chorizo AND all the grease from the chorizo to mix into the rice. I also added about 1/2 cup of chicken broth to keep the rice and chicken from drying out. Then I added the chicken, nestling it into the rice and covering it with the rice a bit. After that I put the muscles on top and poured some of the liquid from the pan I cooked the muscles in. Finally I added some frozen peas and sprinkled a little more Paprika, Rosemary Garlic Powder and Salt over the top of everything.
I covered my first pot and put it in the oven at 350 degrees for a little under 1 hour. Then I covered the second pan and did that one for one hour. When I uncovered the pans, I KNEW this was going to be good. Absolute perfection. Absolutely NOT 5 ingredients. Absolutely NOT 21 Day Fix approved. Totally worth it.
Every once in a while you need to make a crazy delicious Paella and spend some real time doing it.