Incredibly Tasty Chicken and Shrimp Paella

Since I’ve been back from Spain I’ve had this craving for Paella and I found such an incredible recipe that I’m adding it to the rotation.  This is not a dish that you can find in any Mexican Restaurant, as this is a Spaniards staple.  Luckily, Cooking Light came through yet again for me and I found this fantastic Chicken and Shrimp Paella dish with less calories and fat than what you would find in a restaurant, all the reason to be at home cooking it yourself right?  I loved all the flavors in this dish, the combination of rosemary, Safron and smoked paprika along with veggies that I never eat like Asparagus and peas.  Though I’m not a fan of peas I barely even noticed them in this dish and they’re so high in iron too.  My 4 year old daughter had two pieces of chicken from this dish!  Kid friendly!  I’ll be honest this was a good 3 hour cook and prep time.

Quick note: I cooked it slightly longer than indicated in the recipe in order to get the rice to a nice soft texture so definitely taste your rice before thinking it’s done.  I used my Iphone 4S for the pictures. 🙂


  • 6 chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds), skinned
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 (4-ounce) link hot turkey Italian sausage
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked Arborio or Valencia rice
  • 1/2 cup diced plum tomato
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 pound large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 1 cup (1-inch) diagonally cut asparagus
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Sprinkle chicken with rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan; cover and keep warm.
  3. Remove casings from sausage. Add sausage to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring to crumble. Add onion and bell pepper; cook 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Add rice, tomato, paprika, saffron, and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Return chicken to pan. Add broth and 1/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Wrap handle of pan with foil; cover pan. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Stir in shrimp, asparagus, and peas. Cover and bake an additional 5 minutes or until shrimp are done.
Note:Saffron, the exotic spice with a distinct, earthy flavor, gives this Spanish dish its characteristic yellow hue. It’s a bit soupy when first prepared but quickly absorbs the liquid.

Marie Simmons, Cooking Light
MARCH 2004

One Comment Add yours

  1. The Mom Chef says:

    Thanks for posting this on the Cooking Light web site. It’s definitely a keeper and I can’t wait to make it. I agree that nice, tender rice makes all the difference!

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