Spanish food is one of my favorite foods ever. I’ve posted a recipe for paella before, but this time I wanted to create a smaller version, more appropriate for two people, and heavy on the seafood! Best of all, I used my new Staub 2.75-Qt. cocotte, instead of the traditional paella pan, demonstrating that you don’t need a special pan to make a delectable dish such as this.
Paella for Two
1 c. Paella rice (I use Valenciano brand)
1/2 c. Dry white wine
5 Saffron threads
1 c. Chicken broth
1 large tomato, pureed, or a medium sized can of crushed tomatoes (14.5 oz)
1/2 Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 a Chicken breast, cut into strips
4 Shrimp, deveined, with shells still on
2-3 small tubes of Calamari, sliced into rings
Handful of Frozen peas
1/2 Red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 tsp. Pimenton de la Vera + extra for dusting
parsley, chopped (garnish)
Toast the saffron threads in a dry sauce pan until they start to release aroma. Add white wine to the pan and bring to a boil, then keep on low heat so the liquid stays warm. Heat your pan (I used a small Dutch oven) on medium high heat, and coat generously with olive oil. Saute the onions and garlic, then add the chicken breast. Cook until the chicken is lightly browned. Then, add the rice and keep stirring until the rice is coated with oil. Add the tomatoes and a heaping spoonful of pimenton de la vera and mix until even. Ladle some of the wine mixture and add a little chicken broth. This begins the cooking process for the rice. You will slowly add liquid and keep at a low simmer until the rice is almost done. Add salt & pepper to taste.
Add the peas and bell pepper, and make sure the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the seafood and cook until the shrimp is done and the shellfish have opened.
In the presentation below, I made a bed of rice and stacked the seafood on top, dusting with more pimenton de la vera and a generous sprinkle of chopped parsley.