Tuesday, August 05, 2008


For my sister-in-law's baby shower, we had paella as the main dish. We hired my friend’s dad to come over and cook this very flavorful and fragrant rice dish in a huge paellera. Anyway, a few secrets we learned from watching him cook it outside were: he used Uncle Ben's rice and he also used Goya Sazon con Azafran instead of pure saffron. This is definitely not an authentic Spanish paella recipe, but it's so tasty. I bet you can probably feed up to 10 people with this recipe; I would suggest you use a very large paellera or skillet to cook it in. The trick to paella is you want everything to cook evenly and in an even layer. Maja!


  • ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. of pork shoulder or butt, cut into bite-sized pieces, and seasoned with salt & pepper
  • 2 medium-sized boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces, and seasoned with salt & pepper
  • 1 medium-sized links of hot or sweet Italian sausage or chorizo (remove casings and slice into bite-sized pieces)
  • 8 large raw shrimp (deveined and peeled)
  • 8 large raw clams (scrubbed)
  • 8 large raw muscles (scrubbed and de-bearded)
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 12 cloves of garlic finely chopped (you can half this if 12 cloves is too much for you)
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • ¾ cup of frozen sweet peas
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • salt (Kosher or sea salt preferable)
  • 2 packets of Goya Brand Sazon Con Azafran (found in most large supermarkets with ethnic sections or Mexican grocery stores)
  • 1 large green or red pepper cut into thin strips
  • 8 lemon wedges (for serving garnish after cooking)

Add olive oil to paellera or large skillet and warm over medium-high heat.

Add chicken and pork pieces and cook until browned all over, but not completely cooked through (about 4 minutes total). Remove chicken and pork to a separate platter. Add the sausage and cook and brown evenly until about ¾ done – remove from skillet and place on same platter; leave poultry, pork and sausage drippings in the skillet along with the olive oil.

Reduce heat to medium. Add onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally – then add garlic and sauté mixture for 2 additional minutes. In the meantime, mix the Goya Brand Sazon Con Azafran packets in 2 cups of hot water.

Add back to the skillet partially cooked chicken, pork and sausage, UNCLE BEN’S® rice, canned tomatoes, frozen peas, water with Sazon and low-sodium chicken broth. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. If you're using a paellera, cover with a lot of foil.

After 20 minutes, check rice. Depending on the humidity, Homeland Security threat level and the alignment of stars, your rice may be still be slightly al-dente. If so, add 1/4 cup water and keep heat on low until desired doneness is achieved.

Taste for seasoning and adjust, if necessary. During last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking, gently toss in shrimp and peppers, and top with mussels and clams. Let stand covered until all liquid is absorbed and clams and muscles open up, about 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and garnish with lemon wedges and serve your guests! Don't forget the sangria.

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