Updated: September 5th, 2023

Paella is a traditional dish of rice made in a special large surface flat pan. In my previous career, I had the privilege to host a “paella fiesta,” a traditional dish from the Valencia region. The special mystery ingredient is saffron, the most expensive spice in the world. The Valencia paella is made with seafood. The great benefit of this dish is that you need only one pan and a classic version consisting of rice, saffron, vegetables, and a protein (chicken, sausage, seafood)


  • 1 lb protein (chicken, sausage, or any other source free range)
  • 8 lg shrimp (16 counts, wild-caught)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 ea. red pepper, diced
  • 1 each shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lg tomato, diced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 qt stock of filtered water
  • 2 cups short grain brown rice (Arborio)soaked for at least 2 hours
  • ¼ tsp saffron
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

Method of preparation

In a large sauté pan (large surface), brown chicken and shrimp separately; remove them from the pan. In the same pan, sauté the onions and garlic until soft; add the peppers, tomatoes, and rosemary. Deglaze the pan with one cup of stock.

Add the rice and remaining stock. Dissolve the saffron in 2 oz of warm water, add to the pan, stir in the chicken, and simmer covered for about 15-20 minutes. Check moisture level and add more stock if necessary. It should be moist but not soupy.

Arrange the shrimp on top and keep it covered for 10 minutes.

Serve with 1 wedge of lemon. Enjoy!