Celebrate ‘Paella Day’ all year long with this savory seafood-studded dish

dish of paella
Amalia Moreno-Damgaard shares her Paella recipe that includes long grain rice, chorizo, seafood, chicken with saffron, rosemary and wine.
Courtesy of Amalia Moreno-Damgaard

You might not have Paella Day on your calendar, but that’s OK because this savory dish deserves to be celebrated year-round, and not just on March 27.  

Cooked in a large pan, with rice, saffron and often seafood, paella originated in Valencia, Spain, in the 18th century. It’s the kind of one-pan meal that lends itself to experimentation new interpretations.

Appetites regular Amalia Moreno-Damgaard shared her recipe — an interpretation that she says is quick and easy. 

Click play on the audio player above for the full interview and check out the recipe below.  

Paella Fácil y Rápida 

By chef and author Amalia Moreno-Damgaard 

Serves six to eight people 

Note: To make paella with bomba or calasparra rice, use 3 cups of stock for each cup of rice. 

1/2 cup thinly sliced Spanish chorizo 

4 chicken thighs, seasoned generously with pimentón (Spanish paprika), salt and pepper 

3 tablespoons olive oil 

3/4 cup finely diced yellow onion 

2 teaspoons minced garlic 

1/2 cup julienned red bell peppers 

2-ounce jar diced pimentos, drained 

2 tablespoons olives stuffed with pimentos, sliced 

2 tablespoons Spanish capers 

1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary 

1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt 

Freshly ground black pepper 

1/2 teaspoon saffron soaked in 1/2 cup good quality dry white wine 

1/2 cup fresh green beans cut into 2-inch pieces 

1 1/3 cup canned crushed tomatoes 

2 cups long-grain white rice 

1 8-ounce bottle hot clam juice 

3 cups hot fat-free, low-sodium chicken stock 

4 to 6 clams, scrubbed 

4 to 6 mussels, scrubbed and debearded 

1/2 cup frozen squid rings, thawed 

1/2 cup frozen baby peas, thawed 

8 to 12 peeled and deveined medium shrimp seasoned with pimentón, salt and pepper and sautéed in a skillet with a little olive oil (about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side) 

Adorno (Garnish) 

Chopped parsley and lemon wedges 


In a hot large, deep skillet cook the chorizo to render about 2 tablespoons of fat for about 2 minutes. Transfer the chorizo to a dish and set it aside.

In the fat, cook the chicken until medium brown for about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken pieces to the chorizo dish and set it aside. 

Add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet and sauté the onion, garlic, bell peppers, pimentos, olives, capers and rosemary and season with salt and pepper.

Cook for 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and saffron by loosening the bits stuck to the skillet with a spatula. Cook 3 to 5 minutes to evaporate about three-fourths of the wine. 

Put in the green beans, crushed tomatoes and cook until saucy for about 3 minutes. Add the clam juice and chicken stock, stir well and add the rice.

Return the chorizo and chicken to the pan and nestle them within the rice and vegetables. Bring to a quick boil, reduce the heat and simmer covered until the rice has absorbed three-fourths of the liquid for 15-20 minutes. 

Uncover the skillet and add the clams, mussels, squid and peas and cover and continue to cook for about 5 minutes or until the shells open and the squid has turned white and is tender.

Do not overcook, as overcooked seafood can be tough and rubbery. Finally, top with the sautéed shrimp and garnish with parsley and lemon wedges. 

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