It's amazing how one bite can transport you to another time and place. Whenever I eat paella, I'm immediately reminded of a younger version of myself, living in Madrid, Spain. I was lucky enough to both study abroad in Madrid during my junior year of college as well as spend a year there teaching English something like six years ago. Both times were equally memorable, but vastly different. However, I can close my eyes and visualize Plaza Mayor, Chueca, Salamanca, and the people that helped make those areas so memorable both times I lived out there. I remember late nights grabbing Maoz during my time studying abroad and nights in cooking with friends when I was teaching. Both stints were filled with copious amounts of manchego, jamón serrano, and wine and I definitely came back a little fluffier both times, too. The first time I had paella was at my host family's house and I just remember thinking, wow, this rice is so pretty. It's amazing what a bit of saffron can do. It transforms ordinary rice into something extraordinary--beautiful goldenrod yellow and crazy fragrant!!
This rice is a riff on the traditional paella I first tasted and guess what, it's infinitely easier to make. Thanks to the Aneto Natural cooking base for Valencian Paella (my fave style) and the Matiz paella rice I used, I really didn't have to do much to make this super tasty paella. All I did was add some of my favorite things like chicken, shrimp, lap chong (Chinese sausage), and sweet sugar snap peas and voila! Perfectly flavorful paella with minimal effort. LOVE. I love how easy it was to make this dish my own. By all means, add what you like: mussels, clams, chorizo, etc. The world is your oyster. :D
I highly recommend making this for a party because, it's such an easy way to feed a crowd. And speaking of crowds, my friends at Culinary Collective got a bunch of bloggers together to share their favorite Paella dishes for National Spanish Paella Day! It's officially tomorrow, March 27th, which also happens to be Easter, so I'm celebrating a little early because I'm all about the ham and eggs tomorrow. However, if ham's not your stitch, this would make a great dish for an Easter get together, especially because it's dyed naturally yellow (like an Easter egg)! And if you're stuck on that ham, feel free to celebrate a little late. After all, I'm a firm believer in the better late than never philosophy and I've got a little giveaway that will let you win a paella kit from Marx Pantry to make that party extra easy. Head over to the Facebook pages for Matiz España and Aneto Natural, then leave a comment below for a chance to win! This giveaway is open to US residents only and one lucky winner will be chosen at random Friday, April 1, 2016!
A huge thanks to Culinary Collective, Matiz, and Aneto for sponsoring this post. I loved reliving some of my favorite Spanish memories and creating a new one with this dish! And thank you guys for supporting the companies that help support Fix Feast Flair!
SHRIMP AND CHICKEN PAELLA WITH CHINESE SAUSAGE
Serves 6 to 8
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3/4 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 12 oz. lap chong (Chinese sausage), cut in 1/2-inch slices
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 1/2 c. sugar snap peas
- 2 c. Matiz Valenciano paella rice
- 1 L. Aneto Cooking Base for Valencian Paella
- 1/4 c. Matiz Navarro Roasted Piquillo Peppers
- 1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Paella pan or large skillet
- Measuring cups/spoons
- Wooden spoon
- In a paella pan or a large, deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken, shrimp, and lap chong, and cook until lightly browned for around 6 to 8 minutes. Stir/turn meats occasionally. Transfer shrimp and lap chong to a large plate and set aside. Add garlic, onion, tomatoes, and sugar snap peas and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until onions are translucent and fragrant, stirring often, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add rice and stir to combine. Add the Aneto cooking base and cook, without stirring, until most of the liquid is absorbed, around 10 to15 minutes. Cover the pan with foil and cook for another 10-15 minutes on medium low. Top with shrimp, sausage, peppers, and cilantro and remove pan from heat. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve and enjoy!