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A National Dish of Spain

Paella is a national dish of Spain. This is not a light or healthy diet; but it is one to try occasionally to treat yourself or your guests. Traditionally, it is made in a shallow, two-handled black skillet called a paella pan. The pan is taken directly from stove top to table, where the dish is served by the person at the head of the table.


1 chicken (approximately 2-1/2-pounds or 1 kg.), cut into 8 serving pieces 
12 small fresh clams in shells or 1/2 cup canned cooked clams 
12 medium-sized fresh shrimp in shells or 1/2 cup canned cooked shrimp 
8 ounces or 225 grams. chorizo or other garlic- seasoned sausage
1/2 cup fresh peas or 5-ounce (140 gm) frozen peas
2 15-ounce cans (about 4 cups or 850 grams) chicken broth 
1 medium-sized onion, cut into wedges 
1 sweet red or green pepper, cleaned out and cut into strips, or 1 canned whole pimento, drained and sliced 
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic 
2 cups white rice, uncooked 
1/2 teaspoon oregano 
1/4 teaspoon saffron
2 tablespoons olive oil


1. If you are using fresh clams: Cover clams in shells with salted water using 3 tablespoons salt to 8 cups cold water. Let stand 15 minutes and rinse. Repeat soaking and rinsing twice. Set aside.

2. If you are using fresh shrimp: Remove shells from shrimp. Split each shrimp down the back with a small knife and pullout the black or white vein. Rinse shrimp and dry on paper towels. Set aside.

3. In a paella pan or a very wide skillet, cook sausage for about 10 minutes or until done. Drain, cool, and slice. Set aside.

4. Heat oil in the skillet. Brown the chicken for 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove and set aside.

5. Heat chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan.

6. Brown onion, red pepper, and garlic in oil remaining in the skillet.

7. Preheat the oven to 400 F or 200 deg C.

8. Add rice, boiling broth, oregano, and saffron to the skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat and then remove.

9. Arrange chicken, sausage, shrimp, and clams on top of rice. Scatter peas over all. Set the pan on the oven floor and bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed by rice.

10. Remove paella from the oven and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rest 5 minutes. Serve at the table directly from the pan.

Never stir paella after it goes into the oven.


Makes 6 servings

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