Traditional Spanish Paella

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups paella, 1 shrimp, and 1 mussel)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine - May 2000
CL Comments: Nourishing, vibrant, and without pretension, paella has held a place of honor and practicality in Spanish homes for centuries. To round out this meal, choose a good Spanish red wine from the Rioja region, a crusty baguette, and a light salad.
Comments from a CA Kitchen: I got about 16 servings out of this recipe, probably due to the Arborio rice I used. Since I omitted the chorizo and seafood, my version came to 6 points per 2 cups serving. It was hearty, tasty, spicy but not overwhelming, great combination of flavors and color. Not refined enough to be restaurant quality, but definitely a keeper.

INGREDIENTS:

HERB BLEND:
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced

PAELLA:
1 cup water
1 teaspoon saffron threads
3 (16-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
8 unpeeled jumbo shrimp (about 1/2 pound)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 skinned, boned chicken thighs, cut in half
2 links Spanish chorizo sausage (about 6 1/2 ounces) or turkey kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 (4-ounce) slice prosciutto or 33%-less-sodium ham, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3 cups uncooked Arborio rice or other short-grain rice
1 cup frozen green peas
8 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Lemon wedges (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. To prepare the herb blend, combine the first 4 ingredients, and set aside.
  2. To prepare paella, combine water, saffron, and broth in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat. Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails intact; set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sauté 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Add sausage and prosciutto; sauté 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Add shrimp, and sauté 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, paprika, and 3 garlic cloves; cook 5 minutes. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in herb blend, broth mixture, chicken, sausage mixture, and peas. Bring to a low boil; cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mussels to pan, nestling them into rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until shells open; discard any unopened shells. Arrange shrimp, heads down, in rice mixture, and cook 5 minutes or until shrimps are done. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup lemon juice. Remove from heat; cover with a towel, and let stand 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:

Healthy Units: 10.6 as written (6 with omission of prosciutto, chorizo and seafood)
CALORIES 521 (23% from fat); FAT 13.3g (satfat 3.7g, monofat 6.8g, polyfat 2g); PROTEIN 25.5g; CARBOHYDRATE 72.1g; FIBER 3.6g; CHOLESTEROL 80mg; IRON 6mg; SODIUM 871mg; CALCIUM 60mg;

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