Paella is such a beautiful dish that I consider it a Spanish art form. The name comes from the paellera, the flat, round pan in which it is cooked. In order to have the most authentic paella recipe to accompany For Whom The Bell Tolls, I turned to my friend, Enrique, who is originally from Badajoz Spain. Enrique’s Paella is a colorful mixture of saffron-flavored rice, chicken, shrimp, mussels, garlic, beans, spices, and peppers. It is both beautiful and delicious.
Enrique’s Paella for Eight
1-2 lbs cooked mussels (if frozen, defrost)
1 lb shrimp
1 ½ -2 lbs chicken breast or thigh cut into 1”squares
3 c uncooked short grain (or Bomba) rice
1 T paprika
1 envelope “Paellero” or “Ducros” (paella seasonings)
(or a pinch of salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic, pepper, clove, bay leaf and saffron)
1 pinch of Saffron
Lots of minced garlic (to taste)
2 qt vegetable broth
1 qt chicken broth
1 chopped onion
1 chopped red pepper
1 can French green beans (undrained)
Salt to taste
Lemon wedges for garnish
Level paella pan to ensure even cooking. If not using a paella gas grill, you can use a regular grill.
Mix broth in a pan & bring to a boil. Add olive oil to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. When oil is hot, add 3 tsp minced garlic and the chicken. Stir to start browning. Remove just prior to being fully cooked (approx. 5 min) & put aside.
Add more garlic. Add shrimp & stir. Flip shrimp until pink on both sides. Remove shrimp and put aside.
Add oil to the paella pan. Add garlic, chopped red pepper and onions to the pan to brown. Add rice. Refry the rice with the last 3 items.
After 3 min, add ¾ of heated broth & green beans. Add a pinch of salt to broth. Once it’s boiling, add the envelope of spices & stir. Add chicken & stir, while maintaining the boil. Arrange mussels. After 10 min, arrange shrimp.
Rice must boil 20 minutes, so add more heated broth as needed. After the rice has boiled 20 minutes check to see if rice is fully cooked. It is okay if the bottom of the rice is slightly crusty.
Turn off the fire, add lemon, & cover paella pan with aluminum foil for 5 min. Serve and enjoy!