This Seafood-and-Meat Paella Recipe Is a Favorite for Good Reason

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Moreton Neal’s paella mixta, made with shrimp, mussels, chorizo and chicken, is a treat reminiscent of Spanish holidays

paella

By Moreton Neal | Photo by James Stefiuk

PAELLA MIXTA

Serves 6-8

Making paella is an art, not a science, and takes some practice to get the timing down. The first time I made it, I used large bone-in chicken thighs, which didn’t cook all the way through. Now I play it safe with cut-up chicken pieces. The stock-rice ratio is hard to pin down, so you may need to add extra liquid to keep the rice from drying out on top.

Watching videos of chefs making the dish can help you get a feel for it. I learned a great tip about making stock from shrimp shells. The chef cooked the shells in a bit of olive oil until golden, then added chicken stock and heated it for a few minutes, increasing the depth of flavor.

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1⁄2 lb. fresh or smoked chorizo, chopped
4 chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large onion, chopped coarsely
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped coarsely
6 large cloves garlic, minced
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1⁄2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
Salt and pepper to taste
16 or more mussels or clams (optional)
4 – 6 cups chicken stock (enhanced by shrimp shells)
2 cups short grain rice such as bomba or arborio
1⁄2 tsp. saffron threads
1 1⁄2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 cup frozen artichoke hearts (optional)
1 cup frozen peas
1 lb. shrimp, peeled (shells saved for stock)
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
Lemon wedges

Directions

Heat the oil in a large paella or large saute pan over medium heat. Saute chicken and chorizo until chicken is cooked. Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan, saute onion, pepper and garlic until vegetables are soft.

Add tomatoes with juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the wine and cook until it reduces by half. Add the rice, stirring until it is coated with the sauce. Pour 4 cups of stock into the rice mixture, and add saffron and paprika. Add the chicken, chorizo and artichokes, if using.

Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer, without stirring, until most of the liquid is absorbed into the rice, about 20 minutes. If more liquid is needed to cover the rice, add more stock or water.

Halfway through the process, add the peas and clams or mussels, if using, tucking the shells into the rice.

When the rice is tender, add the shrimp and cook a few minutes more until they turn pink.

Cover with foil, let sit for a few minutes, then serve with lemon wedges and parsley sprinkled on top.

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Moreton Neal

Moreton Neal is an author and interior designer who lives in Chapel Hill. She is a lifelong foodie, having co-founded LA Residence in 1976. 
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