This paella uses Spanish sofrito, a cooking base made with onions, peppers, tomatoes, and garlic!
If you’ve been following along with our exploration of Onions Around the World, you may have already made a batch of Spanish sofrito. If so, this paella recipe comes together quickly. If not, with just a few extra steps you’ll be ready to make this meal.
Paella is cooked on the stovetop, making it ideal for summer when the last thing you want to do is heat up the oven. The dish typically has chicken, sausage, and a variety of seafood. To keep things simple, our version uses chicken breast and jumbo shrimp, but feel free to add other ingredients.
First, we sauté onions, then we add the sofrito base, which is a blend of onions, peppers, tomatoes, and garlic. Once chicken stock and water are added, the rice simmers in the flavorful liquid until tender. Garnish with peas, parsley, and lemon wedges to complete the meal and also for a pretty presentation!
Chicken and Shrimp Paella
1 large chicken breast (about ¾ pound), chopped into ½-inch cubes
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup white or yellow onion, chopped
1 batch sofrito recipe
2 cups Spanish rice, or short or medium grain white rice
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water, plus more if needed
20 jumbo raw shrimp, peeled and cleaned (about ¾ pound)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
½ cup cooked green peas, thawed and warmed if frozen
Chopped parsley for garnish
Lemon wedges for serving
Place the chicken in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with oregano and paprika and toss to coat.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add the chicken and cook for 7 to 8 minutes until the pieces are no longer pink in the center and any juices run clear. Set aside.
In a separate, large, deep skillet or paella pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, until it begins to soften. Reduce the heat slightly, add the sofrito and stir well. Next add the stock and 1 ½ cups of the water. Stir well.
Stir in the rice. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, until the rice is almost tender. If the liquid is evaporating too quickly, lower the heat and add the additional ½ cup water.
Add the shrimp and continue to cook for 3 to 5 minutes until opaque and the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Stir in the chicken and salt.
Transfer to a serving platter and top with the peas and parsley. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.
Recipe and images by Lori Rice for the National Onion Association.