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Dad’s Paella Recipe

Dad's Paella Recipe

Dad’s Paella Recipe

My dad has been experimenting in the kitchen lately and this is definitely a labor of love recipe.  Talk about flavor!  Read on for my dad’s Paella recipe.

Dad's Paella


  • Pork Chorizo 
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • Pancetta or Bacon Fat (kept in frig)
  • 8 Jumbo Prawns
  • 8 Cherry stone medium size Clams (fresh)
  • 8 mussels (fresh)  (I prefer male mussels) 
  • 8 Oysters (fresh or canned)
  • Salmon Steak filet with Skin
  • 3 whole Peppers:  Red, Orange, Yellow or green
  • 1-2 Jalapeno peppers (per taste)
  • 1 white onion
  • 7 cloves garlic
  • 1 diced large tomato (fresh or canned)
  • 3 packages saffron rice
  • 2 TBS Creole seasoning and 2 TBS paprika and 1 TBS chili powder 
  • Saffron threads (not powder)  one moderate pinch between thumb and finger
  • Frozen peas (half bag) 
  • One can rinsed garbanzo beans to puree
  • ½ cup white wine
  • Juice of two lemons and cut up two lemons and limes in slices for garnish
  • One bunch cilantro (for last-minute and garnish) or Italian parsley
  • One  box low sodium chicken broth  
  • 3-4 packages Saffron Rice  

Prep for Dad’s Paella Recipe  

Scrub shells of mussels and clams with a stiff vegetable brush.   Soak in salt water for several hours in the frig.  Remove 30 minutes before cooking.  Discard all that are open and hollow sounding.  They are supposed to open in the mix and release their juices….(if they do not open after cooking, discard)   Shell the prawns before cooking include tail stub.   Scrape beard off muscles.

Toast good size pinch of saffron in tin foil and heat for 30 seconds on an open flame.  

High heat cook with shells as there is a lot of flavor in the shell.  Use a mortar and pestle to crush (or spoons if not)  to crush saffron threads…..pour small  1 ounce of boiling water over the saffron and set aside to make a tea for seasoning.  Heat clam juice, lemon juice and white wine.  

Cook down pancetta for rendering fat (substitute bacon fat if you store it in frig) and brown chicken thighs whole with skin with the whole chorizo for 1-2 minutes til brown and remove and let cool.  Don’t let bacon/pancetta get crisp.  Season as you go.    Flash sauté calamari and set aside.  

Quickly sear the salmon steak in bacon/chicken rendering with skin side down 30 seconds-1 minute or until the skin is removable.  Remove and cool. Set aside. Remove skin.  Keep some of the rendered fat for flavor later. 

When cooled, cut both chicken, chorizo, and salmon in bite-size chunks and set aside.  Keep some meat on bone and place skin and bones in CHICKEN broth.   Bring to a quick boil and let simmer for 20 minutes for broth.  Two broths simmering.  Add saffron to the broth.  

Chop fine and separate the jalapeno and garlic gloves,  onions.  Orange and yellow peppers ¼ inch together,  slice the red peppers in thin long slivers and separate for garnish.   Separate leaves from the stem on cilantro/parsley, wash and dry (do not cut until ready), and set aside for last-minute before garnishing.  Slice lemon and lemon in long slices for the last few minutes.  

When you are ready to start, have everything in separate bowls so you can sequence easily.  

In two handle oven-proof saute pan with 2-3 inch sides and lid,  heat olive oil in the pan.   Add onions and diced peppers (not the red pepper or jalapenos yet)  and mix together high heat with 5 TBS of olive oil until they start softening (2-3 minutes)  then add garlic.   Add tomatoes.  Stir together and mix thoroughly until coated.  Add wine and turn the heat down to medium til wine reduces.  

Add all rice over the vegetables and stir until rice is coated on high heat.  Then add ¼ of broth and bring to a boil.  Add ¼ more broth and let cook for a few minutes.  At this point, add the saffron tea, lemon, and clam juice jalapeno and all seasoning mix of creole, paprika, salt pepper thoroughly.   Add pureed  garbanzo beans to thicken  

Add chicken cubes (not the bones)  and salmon and pour remaining broth for a few minutes.   Add frozen peas and garbanzo beans on top and gently stir.   Green beans?

When bubbling, submerge clams and mussels and ousters around edges like a clock.  Mussels spaced around the quadrant.   Shrimp laid gently on top and patted down.  Slices of red pepper and lemons and limes around the clock.  

Turn heat down and let the rice cook until soft.  Add a little water if need.   Turn pan and make sure nothing sticks.   Do not stir it all up ….more of a lifting.  Preheat oven 300 degrees.  Chop the parsley and sprinkle over top and pat down (not stirred) into the mix gently.  Cover with foil and put in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until rice is tender.  

Cover and let rest before serving.  Rice should have a crispy bottom and not wet.


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