This Mixed Seafood Paella is a terrific dinner centrepiece made easier with no fiddly shells and made a little healthier with brown rice. This smells so amazing as it cooks.
I set out to make a Paella that was easy to make, less fiddly and less messy to eat, and a little more healthy. If I were serving this for a dinner party, I would have gone for the seafood in the shells, as I think they look so pretty cooking together in a large pan. But this is a family dinner recipe. Sometimes you don’t want the hassle or mess that comes with shells and prawn heads. Also, the pieces of seafood are small and are blended in with the other ingredients. This comes in handy for picky eaters.
I read that brown rice doesn’t work in paella. Nonsense! Ours turned out fantastic. I’m really trying to make small changes in our diets and go for healthier choices where possible. I simply do not buy white rice any more, so the temptation isn’t there. The trick to making brown rice work in a paella is just using more liquid than normal when cooking brown rice, and letting it cook down for longer. This paella takes 50 minutes. The smell as it wafted through the house was mesmerising. The seafood is only added at the last 10 minutes of course, so it was perfectly cooked through and tender.
By using a seafood mix from your supermarket fish counter, you are cutting out the hassle of cleaning mussel shells and handling raw prawns. Plus, it was so easy just to buy the seafood mix all in one. In Australia this is called ‘marinara mix’ and usually has prawns, shelled mussels, squid rings and cubed pieces of fish. It was perfect!
I have had paella in Spain many times. Its a rustic and relaxed kind of dish, so you can really put anything you want in it! It works very well with chicken thighs (just add at the beginning of cooking rather than at the end). Its very typical to have chicken and seafood mixed together in Paella, so I used a combination of chicken stock and fish stock. The smell of it was simply amazing. The fish stock ties everything together so this version feels very much like a seafood dish. If you only have chicken stock, though, that is perfectly fine.
Want more one-pot dishes? Here is my whole section on One-Pan dinners.
Here is your Seafood Paella recipe:
- 1 cup brown rice
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup fish stock
- 400g/14oz seafood medley mix
- 1 pinch saffron
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 red bell pepper (capsicum), chopped
- 1 chorizo sausage, cut into circles
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ½ teaspoon each, salt and pepper
- 1 large lemon, cut into wedges
- 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
- Add a little olive oil to a large frying pan and add the chorizo. Brown for a few minutes until crisp at the edges, then add the chopped onion. Stir and let soften together for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic for another minute.
- Add the rice, stock and saffron and stir once. Bring to a low boil, then cook down for around 40 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- When the rice is almost tender, add the seafood and peas. Stir, cover with foil and let cook for 10 more minutes, stirring once or twice to ensure the seafood cooks evenly. Add a few tablespoons of water during this time if needed.
- Place the lemon wedges all around the dish, squeezing 2 or 3 wedges as you go.
- Garnish with the parsley.