Spanish Paella

paella coverAs a Spanish teacher, I have traveled to Spain and eaten paella in every city that I visited. It is very hard to find fresh clams in St. Louis, but it is easy to find frozen wild caught langostinos, shrimp, and scallops, thanks to Costco. So, I went with the seafood that was available. Since I had langostinos, I thought of ingredients that would taste good with them, so that is why I added the non-traditional fennel and roasted bell peppers ingredients. This dish is LOADED with seafood and meats, feel free to use what you have available in your freezer or at your local market. Also, it is a HUGE dish that serves 12. You can always 1/2 the recipe to meet your serving size.

The highlight of my shopping trip for this paella was finding this Kitchen Basics brand of broth. It is the ONLY brand that I have ever found that is both MSG and gluten-free! Previously, all stock that I have found has MSG – even if it is gluten-free. It was on sale at Dierberg’s for 2 for $6.

I also looked for gluten, nitrate, and casein-free meats. Since I couldn’t find traditional Spanish sausage, I went with Bilinki’s Andouille Chicken Sausage and Volpi Traditional Prosciutto. Both are pre-cooked. If your meats aren’t pre-cooked, then you will need to sauté them with a little olive oil in a pan about 10 minutes before the dish is done, and then incorporate them into the paella.img_0805


  1. You will also need to thaw your meats and seafood before preparing.
  2. The rice you choose will impact your cook-time. I used Lundberg Organic Brown Short Grain Rice and the cook time is 45 minutes for this rice. You want a short grain or Bomba Rice. In my opinion, the 45 minute cook time allowed the flavors to set in the paella.
  3. You can use a mortar pestle in order to grind your saffron with a little salt before adding it to the paella; it will give your dish a brighter yellow color and infuse a stronger flavor. This is of course optional.


Herb sauce

  • 2 cups parsley
  • 1 cup lemon juice (~ 4 juiced lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped

Chicken Thighs 

  • Prepare 6 chicken thighs ( I bought organic 3 pack from Costco and used 2 packs).
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Redmond Real Salt & 6 twists on the pepper grinder
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 


  • 3 – 32 oz containers of chicken broth
  • 8 garlic cloves (small)
  • 2 small onions
  • 6 oz prosciutto
  • 6 oz Spanish sausage sliced into ¼ slices (I actually used Chicken )
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup roasted bell peppers
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Redmond Real Salt
  • 1 teaspoon saffron springs (I got mine at Costco)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 lb langostinos (wild caught preferred, thawed)
  • 1 lbs baby shrimp  (wild caught preferred, thawed)
  • 8 mussels
  • 10 large jumbo shrimp (to place on top & decorate the dish)
  • 1/16 cup lemon juice
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups short grain rice (I used Lundberg Organic Brown Short Grain Rice)
  • 1 cup frozen peas


  1. Thaw your meats and seafood. (See hints)
  2. Peel and smash 12 garlic cloves.
  3. Mince 2 of the garlic cloves.
  4. Put chicken thighs in a slow cooker or baking dish and bake them on low heat in your oven.
  5. Sprinkle chicken with Redmond Real Salt & 6 twists on the pepper grinder. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon on, sprinkle 2 cloves minced garlic, and drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over chicken.IMG_1366.JPG
  6. Cook on high for 2 hours (this can be done in advance the night before on low for 4 hours or in the morning the day you will be cooking the dish).
  7. While chicken cooks, continue preparing the paella. Juice 1 ⅛ cups lemon juice into a liquid measuring cup. 
  8. Chop parsley & 3 cloves garlic in order to prepare the herb sauce. Then combine parsley, 3 garlic cloves, 1 cup lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil into a small mixing bowl and set aside. Save the last 1/16 cup of lemon juice for pouring over the paella when it is done.IMG_1369.JPG
  9. Continue chopping 8 garlic cloves, onions, fennel, and red bell pepper. Put into a medium mixing bowl with 1 teaspoon paprika and set aside.IMG_1368.JPG
  10. Chop roasted bell peppers and set aside in a measuring cup.
  11. Slice sausage into ½ inch slices, and prosciutto (both of my selections were pre-cooked).
  12. Heat 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat in a very large pan.
  13. Sauté chopped vegetables in the pan for 5 minutes. Add 1 can of diced tomatoes and 1 teaspoon Redmond’s Real Salt and continue to sauté for 3 minutes. IMG_1371.JPG
  14. Add rice to vegetable mixture and sauté until mixed well.IMG_1374.JPG
  15. Add herb sauce, chicken broth, and saffron. Bring to a low boil for 10 minutes. Stirring every couple of minutes.IMG_1376.JPG
  16. Add sausage and prosciutto to a rice mixture, and cover for 30 minutes. Stirring a couple of times.IMG_1381.JPG
  17. In 20 minutes, 10 minutes before the rice mixture is ready, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Sauté mini shrimp and langostinos for 2 minutes. Remove into a bowl.
  18. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in the pan. Sear large scallops for 1.5 minutes per side.
  19. Add the mussels, shrimp, langostinos, jumbo shrimp, and scallops to the large pot. Along with 1 cup peas (optional).
  20. Remove chicken from crockpot when finished, slice it, and add it to the paella.IMG_1380.JPG
  21. Simmer on low until the rice is cooked and broth is absorbed. FYI your pot will be FULL. You will need to carefully stir the mixture as your rice continues to soak up the broth.IMG_1386.JPG
  22. When the rice is done, pour 1/16 cup of lemon juice over the paella and gently turn it so that it doesn’t spill.
  23. When it is finished, you can place a couple of paper towels on top for ~15 minutes until you are ready to eat it. Or, if you have a stainless steel pan, you can put it in the oven on 200, and let it stay warm there until you are ready to eat.IMG_1388
  24. Plate and serve! I placed the jumbo shrimp and the mussels on top before serving. IMG_1394susanellenlogoweb




  1. Jamey Minich says:

    Wow the paella is your most involved recipe. Was it good ? Did u prepare for quests? U r a cooking wizard .

    Sent from my iPhone


    • My Real Dish says:

      I had my Spanish friend Carmen over and our neighbors (she lived in Spain for awhile too). I got the approval from them – even with the non-traditional fennel ingredient! HAHA. You couldn’t taste it. My friend Bhupinder and I finished it off tonight 🙂 Leftovers for two days!

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