3 Tbl Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 lb sliced chorizo
1/4 lb cubed chicken thighs or pork loin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, minced
3 Tbl Sofrito
2 cups rice
1 good pinch—about 1/2 tsp saffron
1 3/4 cups chicken stock, heated and kept warm
An additional 1 cup warm stock (for re-wetting the paella)
1 3/4 cups white wine, heated and kept warm
1/2 pound peeled, tail-on medium-large shrimp
1/2 pound clams
1/2 pound vegetables like frozen peas, julienned yellow and red bell pepper, sliced mushrooms

If you want authentic paella, you’ll need to carve out a day and start a wood fire. We certainly have nothing against this method–it’s an experience like none other. But you can get fairly close to the original with this version from cooking expert Mark Bittman. While Catalans would not refer to this version as a paella – they call it “rice with things” – we really like this rice and its things. And we love the timing…in under an hour, you’ll have a lovely dish with delectable flavor and virtually no chance at leftovers! 

While Saffron may be the main player here, Sofrito is an important part of paella – and all Spanish cooking. Sofrito is a cooked aromatic mixture that is the start of so many dishes. Read our blog Great Beginning – all about sofrito, mire poix, trinity and other aromatic combinations that are the start of so many great dishes.

Adapted from Mark Bittman’s Master Paella Recipe


1.Heat Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a Paella Pan or shallow 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add chorizo and chicken or pork. Season with salt and pepper and cook until well browned. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until soft.
2.Add sofrito, rice and saffron and cook, stirring, until the rice is shiny and well coated. Add the stock and wine and stir until just combined. You can then stir in the shrimp and or lay them in an attractive pattern on top.
3.Cook over medium-high heat, undisturbed. When the liquid is almost cooked away, taste the rice. If the rice seems tough, add another 1/2 cup or so of the reserved chicken stock. If you smell that the bottom is burning, lower the heat. At about this point (halfway through the cooking process) add in the vegetables—you can stir them in—very gently, stirring only once—or lay them on top so as not to disturb the shrimp if you’ve arranged them in a pleasing pattern.
4.The rice is done when tender and still a bit moist; if the mixture has stuck to the bottom of the pan, this is a very good thing. It’s called socarrat—the characteristic of a good paella. Place on the center of the table and serve family style.

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