This chicken and shrimp paella is the perfect comfort food! Rich in flavor, this paella is so delicious that you won’t be able to stop yourself from coming back for seconds!
What is Paella?
Paella is a classic Spanish rice dish packed full of protein (in this case, chicken and shrimp), saffron, rice, and vegetables. It is all cooked up together in one pot to mix the flavors. This creates a deliciously flavorful and filling dish. Chicken and shrimp paella is one of the best recipes you can make with rice! You won’t find another that is packed with such great taste.
The essential ingredient that makes paella a paella is rice. It not only adds great texture to this dish, but it absorbs all of the flavors from the other ingredients and is the star of the show! You can use any long-grained rice you have but make sure not to leave it out! Try serving this paella with some breadsticks, a salad, and a yummy flan for dessert!
Ingredients for Chicken and Shrimp Paella
This ingredient list may be long, but it’s only because you need all of these delicious flavors to mix to make this so unforgettable! See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact measurements.
- Chicken thighs: Thighs have the best and juciest flavor. I like to use boneless, skinless thighs in this recipe.
- Olive oil: You will cook the chicken in the olive oil.
- Garlic: If you don’t have fresh cloves of garlic then you can use minced. ½ tsp equals about 1 clove of garlic.
- Vegetables: Onion, red pepper, mushrooms, tomatoes, frozen peas
- Salt: This will enhance the flavors of all of the ingredients in the recipe.
- Spanish smoked paprika: Smoked paprika brings the BEST flavor to this dish! It’s a must!
- Chicken broth: Heat up your chicken broth before adding it in to the paella.
- Saffron threads: This is classic in paella but if you don’t have any, you can leave this out.
- Soy sauce: Try out this soy sauce. It’s my favorite!
- Short grain rice: You can use any on hand. Some ideas are: Paella, Bomba, Aborio, or Sushi rice.
- Shrimp: Make sure that you buy these peeled and deveined (save yourself some time). The shrimp can be fresh or frozen. If it’s frozen then just make sure that you thaw it before adding it into the paella.
- Garnish: Lemons, parsley, green onion
Let’s Make Some Spanish Paella!
It has it all! This chicken and shrimp paella is a quick meal that takes less than 40 minutes from start to finish. Plus, it has everything all in one pot, so you don’t even need to worry about making any extra sides!
- Cook chicken in oil: Season chicken thighs with a salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Add the olive oil to a large 10-12 inch skillet pan. Heat oil over medium high heat. Fry the chicken on both sides and cook until golden for about 10 minutes. Then, remove chicken from pan and set aside.
- Sauté: In the same pan, add the chopped onion and red pepper, and sauté until translucent for about 4 minutes. Add an additional tablespoon of olive oil if needed. Then, add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add in remaining vegetables: Put in the mushrooms, diced tomatoes, salt, smoked paprika, and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.
- Boil: Stir in the hot chicken broth, saffron threads, and soy sauce, and heat to bring to a boil.
- Add rice and chicken (DON’T STIR): Add the rice and then place the browned chicken on top of the rice. Do not move the chicken or stir the rice. It all cooks in one place. Return to a boil for 15 minutes.
- Mix in the shrimp: Add shrimp and peas on top of the rice and then heat for an additional 5 minutes.
- Let it rest: Cover skillet with a lid and let rest for 5 minutes or so.
- Garnish: Serve and garnish with lemon wedges, green onion, and chopped parsley.
Variations of Paella
This chicken and shrimp paella will be a massive hit with the entire family! There are a few ways to change it up so that everyone loves what’s in it. Here are some easy ideas:
- Vegetables: Feel free to add or take away any vegetabes that you want to make this ideal for your family or guests. Some vegetables that I have used are are peppers, artichokes, green beans or red onions.
- Meat: You can make this with any meat or seafood combination! Try adding in small clams, mussels, chopped white fish, or sausage.
- Rice: My favorite rice to use in this recipe is Mahatma Paella Parboiled Medium Grain Rice. It works perfectly for this dish.
How to Store Leftover Chicken and Shrimp Paella
Spanish paella makes great leftovers. In fact, it almost tastes better the next day because the flavors have had even longer to mix together.
- Refrigerate: Once your paella has cooled then place it in an airtight container and put it in your fridge. It will last about 3-4 days.
- Reheat on the stove: Place 2-3 tablespoons of water into a pan and heat it up to medium heat. Then, stir in the paella and cover it with a lid. The steam will heat it up within 4-5 minutes!
Chicken and Shrimp Paella
- 4 chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped (Vidalia or white)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup red pepper, chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 14 ounces canned diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
- 5 1/2 cups chicken broth, hot
- 1/4 teaspoon Saffron threads (loosely packed) microwave for 15 seconds to help toast saffron
- 2 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 cups short grain rice (Rice options: Paella, Bomba, Aborio, sushi, short grain)
- 1 pound large shrimp (peeled & deveined) (fresh or frozen-thawed)
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1-2 lemons, cut into wedges (for garnish)
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley (for garnish)
- 1/4 cup green onion (for garnish)
Season chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Add the olive oil to a large 10-12 inch skillet pan. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Fry the chicken on both sides and cook until golden for about 10 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
In the same pan, add the chopped onion and red pepper, and sauté until translucent for about 4 minutes. Add an additional tablespoon of olive oil if needed. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add mushrooms, diced tomatoes, salt, smoked paprika, and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.
Stir in the hot chicken broth, saffron threads, and soy sauce, and heat to bring to a boil.
Add the rice, and place the browned chicken on top of the rice. Do not move the chicken or stir the rice. It all cooks in one place. Return to a boil for 15 minutes.
Add shrimp and peas on top of the rice, and heat for an additional 5 minutes.
Cover skillet with a lid and let rest for 5 minutes.
Serve and garnish with lemon wedges, green onion, and chopped parsley.
Any meat/seafood combination can be used (uncooked shrimp, small clams, mussels, chopped white fish, sausage)
Mahatma makes a Paella parboiled medium grain rice that works perfectly in this dish!
The Recipe Critic