This ultraflavorful paella is made using streamlined ingredients in a Dutch oven.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS For a classic paella that could be made year-round, we wanted to stay true to this Spanish rice dish’s heritage without relying on specialty equipment or ingredients. First, we substituted a Dutch oven for the traditional paella pan. Paring down the sometimes lengthy ingredient list was next; chorizo, chicken thighs, shrimp, and mussels made the cut. Canned diced tomatoes replaced the typical fresh. As for the rice, we opted for traditional Bomba rice. Chicken broth, white wine, saffron, and a bay leaf were the perfect choices for liquid and seasoning, adding the right amount of flavor without overcomplicating our recipe. Dry-cured Spanish chorizo is the sausage of choice for paella, but fresh chorizo or linguiça sausage is an acceptable substitute. You will need at least a 6-quart Dutch oven for this recipe. Bomba rice is the most traditional rice for this dish, but you can use any variety of Valencia rice. If you cannot find Valencia rice, you can substitute Arborio rice. Socarrat , a layer of crusty browned rice that forms on the bottom of the pan, is a traditional part of paella. In this version, socarrat does not develop because most of the cooking is done in the oven; if desired, there are directions for how to make a socarrat before serving in step 7.
1 pound extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra as needed
8 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and halved crosswise
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ½-inch-wide strips
8 ounces Spanish-style chorizo sausage, sliced on bias ½ inch thick
1 onion, chopped fine
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained, minced, and drained again
2 cups Bomba rice
3 cups chicken broth
⅓ cup dry white wine
½ teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
1 bay leaf
12 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
½ cup frozen peas, thawed
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in bowl until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until skin begins to blister and turn spotty black, about 4 minutes; transfer to bowl.
3. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in now-empty pot until shimmering. Add chicken in single layer and cook, without moving, until browned, about 3 minutes. Turn pieces and cook until browned on second side, about 3 minutes; transfer to separate bowl. Reduce heat to medium and add chorizo to now-empty pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until deeply browned and fat begins to render, about 5 minutes; transfer to bowl with chicken.
4. Add extra oil to fat left in pot to equal 2 tablespoons and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and cook until mixture begins to darken and thicken slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in rice and cook until grains are well coated with tomato mixture, about 2 minutes.
5. Stir in broth, wine, saffron, bay leaf, and ½ teaspoon salt. Return chicken and chorizo to pot, increase heat to medium-high, and bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Cover, transfer pot to oven, and bake until almost all liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Remove pot from oven. Scatter shrimp and mussels evenly over rice and push hinge side of mussels into rice so they stand up. Cover, return pot to oven, and bake until shrimp are opaque throughout and mussels have opened, 10 to 15 minutes.
7. For optional socarrat, transfer pot to stovetop and remove lid. Cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, rotating pot as needed, until bottom layer of rice is well browned and crisp.
8. Discard any mussels that refuse to open and bay leaf, if it can be easily removed. Arrange bell pepper strips in pinwheel pattern over rice and sprinkle peas over top. Cover and let paella sit for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
Indoor Paella in a Paella Pan
Substitute 14- to 15-inch paella pan for Dutch oven, increase broth to 3¼ cups, and increase wine to ½ cup. Before placing pan in oven, cover tightly with aluminum foil.