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Paella with Chicken and Shellfish

Serves: Makes 8 to 10 servings


  • 4 cups chicken stock or top-quality chicken broth
  • 3 cloves garlic, roasted
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 ounces chorizo sausage, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups medium-grain rice
  • 1 (4-inch) sprig fresh rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and cut into ¼-inch strips
  • 1 pound live Manila or other hard-shell clams, rinsed
  • ¼ cup dry vermouth
  • 1½ pounds live mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled (with tail intact) and deveined
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup thawed frozen peas


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Warm the stock in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the roasted garlic, turmeric, thyme, and saffron. Keep warm over low heat, stirring occasionally, while cooking the chicken.

  3. Toss together the flour, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1 teaspoon of the pepper in a medium bowl. Evenly coat the chicken pieces with the flour, patting to remove the excess.

  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 16-inch paella pan or large deep ovenproof sauté pan over medium heat. In 2 or 3 batches, cook the chicken pieces for 3 to 4 minutes, until just browned; do not cook through. Set the chicken aside on a plate. Brown the chorizo and prosciutto in the same pan for 3 to 5 minutes; set aside with the chicken. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in the pan and cook the onion for about 5 minutes, until tender and aromatic. Stir in the rice, coating it evenly with the oil, and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 1½ cups of the warm stock mixture followed by the rosemary, lemon juice, bay leaves, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes.

  5. Add the browned chicken, chorizo, and prosciutto, and the roasted peppers, stirring to combine. Add the remaining warm stock and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the rice is about half-cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed. If the pan seems a bit dry after 12 or 15 minutes, drizzle ¼ cup more broth or water over and return to the oven, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes.

  6. While the paella is cooking, place the clams and vermouth in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover and cook, tossing the pan gently once or twice, for 3 to 5 minutes, until the clams have steamed open. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the clams into a large bowl. Discard any clams that do not open. Add the mussels to the pan, cover, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until they open (discard any that do not open). Scoop them into the bowl with the clams. Strain the cooking liquid.

  7. Scatter the shrimp over the paella and pour a third to ½ cup of the clam and mussel cooking liquid over. Replace the foil and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the shrimp are nearly cooked through. Scatter the green onions over and tuck about a dozen each of the clams and mussels with their shells into the rice. Remove the rest of the clams and mussels from their shells and sprinkle them over the rice with the thawed peas. Bake, uncovered, 3 minutes longer. Discard the bay leaves and serve.

by Sur La Table & Renée Behnke

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