Paella with Chicken, Shrimps & Clams

I have always loved Paella but had never attempted making it. As I was thinking of recipes to cook for six of my friends on a lovely Sunday afternoon in July, I thought that this one-pan recipe would make it easier to feed a larger group.

I read a lot of different recipes and in the end decided to adapt various elements of some of them to come up with my preferred version of the classic Spanish Paella. This included using chicken thighs (my favorite part of the bird), adding chorizo and green olives, as well as toasting the rice in olive oil before adding it into the pan (like you would with a risotto).

The resulting Paella was delicious and leisurely savored over several hours and quite a few bottles of Côte de Provences Rosé. 

Paella with Chicken, Shrimps and Clams

Serves 6 people

  • 1/2 tsp of saffron
  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 12 shrimps
  • 12 clams
  • As much chorizo as you like 
  • 1 tbsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 15 ounce can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 7 cups of chicken broth
  • 2.5 cups of rice, toasted in olive oil
  • 1 red pepper cut into 1 inch strips
  • Green olives

Put saffron and 1⁄4 cup hot water in a small bowl and let sit for 15 minutes. Season chicken and shrimp generously with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a 16″–18″ paella pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, shrimps and chorizo and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, for about 5 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a plate, leaving meats in pan. Add paprika, garlic, tomatoes, olives and onions to pan and cook, stirring often, until onions soften, about 6 minutes. Add the reserved saffron mixture and broth, taste and season with salt, and bring to a boil over high heat.

Sprinkle in the toasted rice, distribute evenly with a spoon, and add the peppers. Cook, without stirring, until rice has absorbed most of the liquid, 12-15 minutes. (If your pan is larger than the burner, rotate it every two minutes so different parts are over the heat and the rice cooks evenly). 

Reduce heat to low, add reserved shrimp, and nestle in clams hinge side down; cook, without stirring, until clams have opened and rice has absorbed the liquid and is al dente, 5–10 minutes more. I cheated and gave everything in the pan a gentle nudge once in a while as I cannot simply just watch without doing something! 

Remove pan from heat, cover with aluminum foil, and let sit for 5 minutes before enjoying. Serve with lemon wedges.

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