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Chefs at Home: Seafood Paella

  • Chef Michael Shannon
  • 3 min read

By Chef Michael Shannon

A signature of Spanish cuisine, paella combines a long list of ingredients, including a luxurious variety of seafood, into one spectacular dish. Paella also lets you use a little of this and a little of that to make something exciting that can feed a crowd. This recipe also has you use the shrimp shells as the base for a quick stock that then flavors the paella. Read the recjpe all the way through before beginning.

Serves 6 to 8



For the paella:

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

10 shrimp, peel reserved

2/3 cup red pepper, finely diced, trim reserved

2/3 cup green pepper, finely diced, trim reserved

2/3 cup Spanish onion, finely diced, trim reserved

2 tablespoons chopped parsley, stems reserved

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon saffron threads

2 quarts chicken stock or water

¼ cup Spanish chorizo, finely diced

½ pound swordfish, cut into ½ inch dice

½ pound lobster meat, raw

2  garlic cloves, chopped fine

½ cup Roma tomatoes, grated

2 cups Bomba Rice

¾ cup dry white wine

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges, seeds removed

½ cup frozen peas



In a medium saucepan over high heat, add olive oil. Sear shrimp shells until reddish in color. Add any excess trim from peppers and onions, parsley stems, along with bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, and saffron. Toast lightly. Add chicken stock or water, bring to a simmer, lower the heat to medium-low, and maintain a simmer for about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt as needed.

While the stock simmers, render chorizo In a 12” paella pan over medium heat until slightly crisp. Reserve. Pat the shrimp, sword, and lobster dry and season with salt and black pepper.

Return paella pan to medium-high heat and sear seafood in stages starting with the shrimp and ending with the lobster. Be sure to lightly brown all seafood. Set aside.

Pour any excess fat from the pan and start with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add peppers and garlic, and sweat them over medium low heat for 5 minutes.

Add grated tomato and remaining tablespoon smoked paprika, stew for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and flavor is developed.

Add rice to pan and stir to combine, toast lightly for 1 minute.

Deglaze with white wine and reduce until almost dry.

Using the stock made earlier, strain half of the stock into the paella pan and start cooking the rice over low heat. Add stock to pan little by little until rice is slightly al dente. Reserve ¼ cup stock for peas.

Arrange seafood neatly back into the paella pan and continue cooking until rice is just cooked. Turn heat up to high and reduce any cooking liquid to form a socarrat (thin crispy layer on bottom of pan). Cover loosely with aluminum foil and rest for 10 minutes.

In a separate small sauté pan, add ¼ cup stock reserved. Add peas to the pan and simmer gently until cooked.

Season with salt and spoon over the top of paella. Finish with chopped parsley, fresh lemon wedges, and drizzle with olive oil.

Recipe and photos by Chef Michalel Shannon. Michael is the chef at a private club in Boston.

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