Cuban Paella (Paella Cubana)

8 chicken pieces (unskinned)
1/2 cup cooked Spanish sausage (chorizo), sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
1 lb. medium shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 dozen clams (washed)
1 dozen mussels (cleaned)
1 lobster tail (meat removed and cut into small pieces)
4 cups chicken broth
1 lb. medium-sized scallops
2 tbsp. olive oil
8 garlic gloves (minced)
1 large onion (chopped)
1 green bell pepper (chopped)
1 red bell pepper (chopped)
3/4 cup red wine
3 cups Valencia rice (parboiled)
5 cups water
2 tsp. salt
2 packs Goya Sazon con Azafran (Saffron)
1/2 pkg. frozen green peas

You will need a paellera or large covered pot. Heat the olive oil over medium-high in the paellera. Lightly brown the chicken pieces on both sides, then place the sausage (chorizo) while the chicken is frying. Once the chicken is browned on both sides, remove the chicken and sausage and place them in a large bowl. Next place the onions, green bell peppers and garlic in the paellera and sauté until the onion is translucent.
Add the salt, chicken broth, and wine to the paellera. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the chicken, sausage, rice, water, peas and saffron to the paellera. Stir in all the ingredients well. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for half an hour. The rice should be tender at this point.

While the rice is cooking, prepare the seafood. Steam the clams and mussels until they open, and set aside. Heat extra olive oil in a large pan, and sauté a few extra sausage pieces in the olive oil. Remove the sausage, then sauté the shrimp, pieces of lobster, and scallops for a couple of minutes. Remove the seafood, and mix into the paellera, stirring all of the seafood into the rice.

Remove paellera from stove, and place in the oven (preheat to 350 degrees). Bake for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and serve warm. You may also garnish with sliced red bell peppers. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Paella

3 tbsp. olive oil
14oz skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces seasoned
5 1⁄2oz dried chorizo, sliced
1 large onion, diced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
2 cups paella rice
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large pinches of saffron threads, soaked in 1⁄2 cup hot water for 10 minutes
14oz can chopped tomatoes
10oz small mussels
10oz raw, unpeeled large shrimp
1–2 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 Preheat the slow cooker, if required. Heat the oil in a wide heavy-based frying pan over medium heat, add the chicken and seasoning, and cook for 10–12 minutes until browned all over. Remove and set aside. Cook the chorizo for 1–2 minutes on each side until browned. Also remove and set aside.
Add the onion and red bell pepper to the pan and cook for 5–7 minutes until soft. Add the rice and stir, so all the grains are coated, and cook for 2–3 minutes. Transfer the rice to the slow cooker, add the chicken and chorizo, then add the garlic, saffron with its soaking liquid, and seasoning. Push the chicken down into the rice, add the tomatoes, and pour over 1 cup water or just enough to cover.

2 Cover with the lid and cook on auto/low for 2 hours, adding the beans after 1 hour of cooking. Then turn the slow cooker to high, pour in 1⁄2 cup boiling water, add the mussels and shrimp, and continue cooking for 40 minutes. Remove the lid, cover with a dish towel, and let it stand for 5 minutes.
Discard any mussels that haven’t opened. Garnish with the parsley and serve.

Quick & Easy Oven Sausage and Shrimp Paella

For the paella:
1 tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. sliced chorizo sausage, or any smoky, spicy sausage
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/3 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup green peas
1 tsp regular or smoked paprika, optional depending on how much was in the sausage
2 cups (exactly) hot saffron broth, or just plain hot chicken broth
1 pound peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp
1 sweet red pepper, cut into thin strips
salt and cayenne to taste
garnish top with a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and freshly chopped Italian parsley
lemon wedges, optional (some love lemon, I prefer without, but give it a try and see)

*Bake at 425 degrees F. for 20 minutes, then finish over med-high flame until rice is just tender. It will be firm and slightly sticky. Don’t burn it, but you can leave it on the flame a little longer to try and get the rice to caramelize and crust onto the bottom of the pan, like the classic version. Be careful

I like to also add some skinless and boneless chicken (Breast or Thighs)

Arroz con pollo a la chorrera de Chef Pepín

Arroz con pollo a la chorrera

1 pollo de 3 lbs.
1/2 lb. de cebollas.
1 ramita de perejil.
2/3 de taza de aceite.
2 dientes de ajo.
1 ají grande.
12 tomates chicos.
4 tazas de caldo de pollo.
1 taza de vino seco.
2 cucharadas de sal, más o menos.
1/2 cucharadita de azafrán.
1/2 cucharadita de comino.
1/4 cucharadita de pimienta.
1 lb. de arroz.
1 latica de petit pois.
1 lata de pimientos morrones.
1 latica de espárragos.

Corte el pollo en octavos y fríalo en el aceite caliente. Luego en el mismo aceite haga un sofrito con las cebollas, perejil. Ajo, ají y tomates. Agregue el caldo y déjelo hervir unos minutos hasta que el pollo empiece a ablandarse. Añada el vino, sal, azafrán tostado, comino, pimienta y el agua de los pimientos, petit pois y espárragos. Déjelo hervir y agregue el arroz lavado. Cocínelo aproximadamente 30 minutos a fuego lento o en el horno a 400 grados F. durante ese mismo tiempo o hasta que el arroz se ablande. Proporciona seis raciones.

Arroz con Pollo a la Chorrera


8 chicken thighs, fat removed as much as possible
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 Meyer lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Marinate the chicken in the above ingredients in a plastic bag or covered glass Pyrex dish for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
When ready to start cooking, sauté the drained and dried chicken pieces in a small quantity of olive oil. You don’t want to bathe it in the oil, but enough that the meat doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Turn over a couple of times to get the desired golden-brown crust. Place on a dish and reserve, covered until later.

1 large onion, chopped
1 large green or red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium shallot, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 dried bay leaves
½ teaspoon Spanish or smoky paprika
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Salt to taste
½ small can tomato sauce
1 cup dry Sherry
2½ cups Valencia, Arborio or any other risotto rice
½ of a 32-ounce box of chicken broth (no MSG)
1 24-ounce can of beer
A generous pinch saffron threads (*)
1 Tablespoon capers (*)
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
1½ cups Petit Pois or sweet English peas
Strips of red pimento for garnish (optional)

Using the same pan and oil in which the chicken was sautéed, start your sofrito (the Cuban version of a mirepoix or Cajun holy trinity) by adding the chopped onion, bell pepper, shallot, garlic and bay leaves, and sauté until the onion and peppers are soft and translucent, but before the garlic turns brown. Sprinkle with the paprika, cumin and salt (or you can use one of the Goya all-purpose seasonings with no MSG); add the tomato sauce and sherry scraping the bottom to deglaze the pan and simmer for a couple of minutes.

Add the rice and stir around for a bit, a couple of minutes. Add the chicken broth and half the can of beer, reserving the rest for later. Add the saffron, capers and fresh oregano (I used the tiny leaves of my stick oregano bush).

At this point, put the chicken back into the pan with whatever juices collected while reserving, nestling the pieces into the rice. Cover and turn heat to the lowest level; let simmer until the liquid is almost all absorbed. Add the rest of the can of beer and let it continue cooking, covered, until the liquid is almost all absorbed. Add more chicken broth or sherry if needed.

Let it sit, covered for a few minutes until time to serve. The rest of the liquid will be completely absorbed and the rice will be plump, succulent and full of flavor.

The Petit Pois or English peas are not added until the cooking process is done so the peas maintain their plump roundness. Garnish with red pimento strips if desired. I didn’t, since I used red bell pepper in my sofrito.

Kitchen tips:

(*) To get more color and flavor from the saffron, first soak in lemon or lime juice for a little while and using a spoon, mash it a bit to extract as much color as possible. Since I used Meyer lemons in the chicken marinade, I used Meyer lemon juice to soak the saffron.

(*) When adding salt be careful if you will be using capers, since they are also salty. I waited until after I added the capers and tasted the broth before I added the salt.

Paella Valenciana


4 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces pork loin, cut in chunks
6 ounces chicken breast, cut in chunks
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 onion, julienned
1 green pepper, cut in strips
8 ounces white wine
1 tomato peeled, seeded, and chopped
Pinch saffron
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
10 ounces uncooked Valencia or other short grain rice
20 ounces chicken stock
6 ounces peeled and deveined medium shrimp
4 ounces scallops
4 ounces squid rings
4 ounces grouper fillet, cut into chunks
6 littleneck clams
6 mussels
6 ounces cooked green peas
6 pimento (roasted pepper) strips
6 white asparagus spears
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a paella pan, heat the olive oil and saute the pork and chicken until it is golden. Then, add garlic, bay leaf, onion, and green pepper. Saute until onions are transparent. Add white wine, tomato, saffron, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Then, add rice and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Then add seafood and cover the paella and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Garnish with peas, pimentos, asparagus, and lemon wedges.

Courtesy of Bobby Flay and Columbia Restaurant.

Paella Campestre (Peasant Paella)


2 cups chicken broth with 3 saffron threads
1 pound chicken breast, cut into bite sized cubes or 1 chicken cut into 12 pieces
3 Tb. olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 med. tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cup rice
8 – 10 oz. shrimp
1 cup peas
1 sprig parsley, chopped
6 oz.’s pepperoni, sliced (or aged chorizo)
2 cloves garlic
2 – 3 Tb chopped pimientos
1 tsps. turmeric or 3 threads saffron
1 teaspoon Paprika
Salt & Pepper

If using saffron, make an infusion with the saffron threads in the chicken stock. Heat the frying pan and add the oil. Quickly sauté the chicken till golden on all sides, remove to a platter. Add the onions, garlic, tomato, and sauté until tender. Add the turmeric, and paprika, cook slightly. Add rice and saute briefly to coat well. Pour on the broth, salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken, peas, shrimp, and stir to mix well. Sprinkle parsley on top. Place sliced pepperoni in a decorative design on top. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, until rice is done and liquid absorbed. You can move the pan on the burner, but do not stir. The paella pan is usually quite large, at least 12 inches in diameter.