Chicken, Shrimp, & Chorizo Paella & A Giveaway!

Paella blogTwo years ago, my mother and I went to Madrid, Spain. Once there, I was tempted to try paella, but the presence of seafood prevented me from doing so. You see, the only types of unfried seafood I like are very small shrimp (like in fried rice), baked salmon, and tuna fish in a can. The only types of fried seafood I like are fish (like in fish and chips) and shrimp. That’s it. I don’t like crab, lobster, mussels, crawfish, or anything else that resembles how it looked when it was alive haha. I don’t like slimy food either, so yeah, I had to stay away from the paella. I did, however, try to taste just the rice portion of the paella one day, but I had to quickly wash out my palate (not “palette!”) because I could still taste the seafood or clam juice in the rice. From that day on, I had decided that the only way I would be able to have paella would be to make it myself, but at that time of my life, I wasn’t a cook at all. So, I just gave up on that dream until a few days ago!

After corresponding with Sarah Jay (read how she started the company!), the founder of Paella Pans, which is a small, family-run business,  I received a pan imported from Valencia, Spain in only a matter of days. 
I found a recipe for Chicken Paella on her website and examined it anxiously every day as I waited for the pan. I almost had it memorized. My yellow-cake friend, Lydia, was with me when the pan arrived, and we were both impressed with how the pan looked and how big it was. I was beyond excited to try it out and felt like the luckiest person in the world.

A couple of days later, I made the yummiest paella I had ever had (out of two paellas total haha!). Lydia said that it looked incredible, and my neighbor said it looked like the real thing even without the big prawns and mussels, and they both used to live in Spain. 

The pan from various angles: I stuck the tag back on this pan so you could see from whence (hehe) this pan came.

So, first let me talk to you about this company and this pan that was graciously given to me for me for review. It is a 14″ pan made of carbon steel, which is considered the most popular and most used in Spanish households. The company, also sells pans made with enameled steel, stainless steel (so shiny!), pata negra (literally means “black foot/paw (of an animal)”), and flat-bottom pans. Not only do they have pans on their site, but they also sell authentic ingredients for paella, such as bomba rice, chorizo, pimentón (with an accent on the “o”!) dulce or sweet paprika, and saffron or azafrán of various sizes. They also have recipes and tips on making a successful and authentic paella. Okay, enough links for now! I’m just really excited about this company, its products, and especially the founder. She is such a lovely lady with whom I’ve interacted via email for quite some time now.

The bottom of the pan and its handle: look at the bubbles or dimples at the bottom of the pan; they are there to promote even heating.

As an instructor of college-level Spanish, it is refreshing to see how her excitement for the Spanish language and culture encouraged her to start a business for importing paella-related products directly. Now, that’s what I call ambition and drive. I hope some of my students get that excited about learning Spanish and various cultures different from their own.  

Anyway, back to the paella. Because I wanted to make this paella asap, I did not get to try out the ingredients on the Paella Pans  website, but I did use similar products. 

For instance, I used bomba rice that I obtained from Williams-Sonoma…
 That’s the most classiest-looking rice container I’ve ever seen. 

I also used Spanish chorizo

pimentón dulce (purchased in bulk for only .39 cents!), and saffron. 
 You can see the packaging of the chorizo in the top right corner.

The chicken as pictured was not fully done, so I had to cook that some more when I returned home from my friend’s house (I don’t have a photo of that because it was devoured quickly by my neighbor and me for dinner). Lydia, her husband, and I gobbled up the shrimp and chorizo, though, while pushing the lemon slices aside haha. 

As Sarah writes in the recipe, don’t pull out any plates for this dish; eat the paella directly from the pan itself. YUM! I want to make this again very soon. 

 ¡Buen provecho!

 After some serious damage, I still had plenty of leftovers. I still need to work on making the socarrat or the crusty, crispy layer formed under the rice, but look at that garlic!

I made only two additions to this recipe – the chorizo and shrimp. I cooked the deveined and peeled shrimp in a separate pan, but you could cook up all the meats together since the pan is so large or one at a time and then place them in a separate plate to rest. Don’t cook the shrimp up too much because it will go back in the pan along with the rice later on. Just cook them until they turn a slight peach-looking color. Make sure the chicken is cooked pretty well, though. I had to cook the chicken for about 30 minutes, and that still wasn’t long enough, so cook it longer than that. The chorizo is already dried and cured, so you don’t need to cook it for very long. For the full recipe, go to the site

For your entertainment, I have some process photos below and a special announcement you don’t want to miss!!

 Boil chicken broth; toast and crush saffron, and add to boiled broth.
Cook the peppers and garlic; cook the meats and veggies and set them aside; peel the covered, hot bell peppers
 Make the compote comprised of grated tomatoes and onions.
 Add the Spanish or short/medium-grained rice before adding the broth and the rest of the ingredients that have been set aside while keeping the whole garlic in the middle of the pan.

Okay, now for the exciting news! Paella Pans has graciously allowed me to sponsor a giveaway for one of their 14″ carbon steel pans – just like the one I now have – to one of you all!! 
MINIMUM QUALIFICATION: Because this is a small company, this giveaway is open to residents of the contiguous United States only. 
TO ENTER THE PAELLA PAN GIVEAWAY: All you have to do is go to their site and tell me what you would like to either make or buy there if you could.  
DEADLINE: Monday, July 5th, 2010. ¡BUENA SUERTE! GOOD LUCK!

Copyright – Memoria James –

Memoria James

0 thoughts on “Chicken, Shrimp, & Chorizo Paella & A Giveaway!”

  1. Wow ur interest in great cooking is amazing!!! Am visiting with College Girl right now and she is so enthusiastic about the paella she had in Barcelona before I got here! Best thing she ever ate, etc. etc. But…like you I am not a fan of multiple kinds of interesting seafood — this type of recipe I can handle!!! (and thanks for the contest — I am going to enter!)

  2. So sorry to comment twice… got ahead of myself… I luv the ingredients available on that site! Between the saffron, paprika and chorizo the dish will turn out with an amazing taste, even if the cook is trying the dish for th first time…like me!

  3. I LOVE Paella, eespecially with the addition of chorizo and yours looks to be the most gorgeous and mouth watering paella I've ever seen..seriously. If I could have that pan, I'd be making paella once a week..that's how much I love it1

  4. I love paella. That is one rice that I bought lots of before moving to this small city. I actually bought the copper paella pan from Williams Sonoma when I had a part-time seasonal job there a few years ago. I could only afford it with the discount! This summer I want to make it over charcoal and see how that goes.

  5. Hey Memoria,
    Great post! My Spanish "mother" taught me how to make paella valenciana about 10 years ago, but I never had the guts to try to cook it myself! Thanks for introducing me to the site–I'd say if I had my choice, I'd buy every single cookbook by Penelope Casas. I have one of her tapas cookbooks at home, and it is sublime–so authentic. I already have a paella pan (never-used) but I suspect that one of the ones from this site would be much better quality. Mine only cost $10 or so. Cool giveaway!!

  6. I feel like you totally read my mind! I've been wanting to try paella a lot lately but the huge prawns and seafood keep me away as well. I would love to make the chicken paella with the potato tortillas and some sangria! LOL! YUM!!

    I would also love to buy so much on that site. The yellow ceramic mortar and pestle is gorgeous! I don't have a mortar and pestle yet. I love the huge slotted spoons and the no drip olive oil can things. Beautiful!!!

    And let's not even start with the cookbooks and the pans!!! Wow!

    Thanks so much for introducing me to such a wonderful site!

  7. I just found your site today and I must say I am impressed. Your recipes look fabulous. I am going to try your flour tortillas tonight with dinner and maybe another dish.

    As for the La Paella, I would love their 20" Carbon Steel pan. I wouldn't mind a recipe book of theirs either. 🙂

  8. I was in Valencia, Spain just days ago and had the best Chicken Paella in the world at Casa Roberto! It had artichokes, mushrooms, leeks, and rabit meat in addition to the chicken. One of the best things I've ever eaten. And that is what I would try to make with the Paella Pan.

  9. What beautiful photos! I'm sad that I haven't had as much time lately to read your wonderful blog (I started a new 50+ hour a week job)! You've inspired me to make paella (with seafood). I haven't made it because saffron is so expensive, but it definitely looks worth it!

  10. Must say, seeing a Central Market tag made me smile (misplaced Texan here!), I'll be putting your blog on my fav list for sure!

    My friends just came back from a beautiful Spanish honeymoon and I would love to have that 16 inch stainless steel paella pan to host parties with them and remind them of their travels. These Phoenix nights are warm and definitely need some rice and chicken filled fun!

  11. your paella is beautiful.

    But I would need to make the Gazpacho. Always wanted to try it, as I love all the ingredients, but have yet to do so.

    La Paella – did a great job on their website!

  12. i would totally buy one of the enameled steel pans. I'm from spain, at home we have plenty of paella pans (unfortunately since I moved to the US, i don't owe one) we use the enameled ones for 'arroz al horno' which is very similar to paella but has potatoes… very yum! if i won a pan, i'd make paella with rabbit like we do at home!

  13. You have a beautiful site. I would love to win a pan! I went to the site and I must say I like the crema cantalina set. The carmelizing sounds facinating…I will look into it.


  14. Hi, Memoria! Guess who?! Your paella dish looks so appetizing :o) I could gobble all of it up right now–in fact, I am jealous that Lydia and her hubby got first dibs on the paella. Seriously though, I think all of the photos are so colorful and inviting!

    I went to the Paella Pans website and there were so many wonderful choices, but alas since I had to make a decision, I decided that, given the opportunity, I would buy the lovely Sangria pitcher! I can just imagine filling it with all sorts of refreshing simmer beverages such as tea, milk, water, juice, coffee, etc.

  15. There were so many cool things there…but the classic olive oil pitcher/pourer would fit so well in my kitchen…pour so well into my new paella pan. I've never been to Spain. This would move me in that direction.

    Thanks for the fun recommendation!

  16. If I could, I would buy the beautiful paella wedding gift set. . . for my unmarried self! When I was younger and I would oooh and ahhh over such beautiful kitchen accoutrements, my mother would say "Oh, honey, you'll get things like that when you marry." Well, I never did marry but about 5 years ago I decided I deserve them all the same. I started saving and buying beautiful kitchen things for my home that I use to feed friends and family. It makes me happy to know that I didn't need to be married to enjoy my kitchen, my cooking and my home. It makes me happy to share my food with my mother and that makes her happy. Now when she can, she buys me beautiful kitchen things too!

  17. What a beautiful recipe you have of Paella! My mom was in Spain a few years ago visiting distant relatives, and makes it all the time now. But never with Chorizo…maybe it's time to introduce her to the extra flare. Ha!

    I would love any of the recipe books from Penelope Casas! They look amazing, and I would love to learn how to make paella and tapas how they are meant to be done! I love Spanish food!

    Love your site!

  18. Wow what a beautiful looking recipe….I'm literally drooooooling over here 🙂 I have never tried Paella before but now I NEED to!!! Thank you for sharing.

    What a great website they have….everything looks fantastic but I LOVE love LOVE ceramics so anything from that section would be great especially the yellow ceramic mortals and pestle….what a beauty!!!!

  19. I love Paella and this version looks great…..although I do love seafood in mine too!
    that sausage looks incredible! and that smoked paprika was a good addition!

  20. Ah, it's nice to see Central Market labels in a blog post rather than Whole Foods that everyone seems to go for. Nothing really wrong with WF, but seeing them everywhere is a bit overkill.
    I would love to (try to) make the chicken paella! I have always dreamt of making one but have always been hampered by the lack of proper hardware…

  21. Seafood Paella. NEver had made anything so decadent in my life. But YUMMY.

    Great post.. beautiful pictures!!


  22. I wouI I would love to make the seafood paella. I don't eat meat, so that recipe works perfectly for me. And I would love to get the paella pan from your giveaway – that is probably what I would buy from them! This is such a great giveaway, thank you for sponsoring it!

  23. Lots of wonderful things on their site. I love the fact that they have recipes too. Their sangria recipe looks to yummy. Did I tell you we're building a deck on the back of our house? Once that's built I want to have a little get together and I think I'll make that Sangria. Sangria is best when it's shared, don't you think? That pan is so beautiful you could even use it as a serving dish. That said, I think I agree with another one of your commenters that I would want to buy crema cantalina set. Thanks for sharing their site with us and for sponsoring this contest.

  24. I love all of their cazuela cookware. Just got the urge to make a big batch of mole this weekend! Thank you for the giveaway!

  25. The recipe looks delish! I checked out the site and I would definitely buy the Casserole Cazuela and make paella's Creole cousin – Jambalaya!

  26. You're going to think I'm crazy, but I've once had paella once, and it was vegetarian! You're probably thinking…"uhm, that's not paella, it's rice." And you're probably right, but it was still super good. I have been wanting to recreate it ever since.

    Your version looks awesome and (knowing you) I'm sure it tastes as good as it looks.

    Now, to participate in your giveaway…a pan would be nice!

  27. Honestly, Memoria, I would make their chicken paella, because I love it… but I would be greedy and ask for the wonderful rice and a package of saffron to make it the right way!! Great giveaway… I have wanted a paella pan for ever so long> fingers crossed.

  28. I love paella ~ I had it for the first time in San Sabastian, Spain, in 1976 and it has been an affair of the heart ever since. Your photo of the caramelizing onions and tomatoes makes my mouth water!

  29. Let's see…I'll take one of their gorgeous stainless steel paella pans, and some rice and some saffron!

    How cool is that that you received a pan AND made paella! Awesome!

  30. Enhorabuena! Looks delish! If you ever get a chance to come back to Madrid, get in touch, I'd love to introduce you to my favourite paella place. Also, if you get a chance, please try teh agridulce pimenton.

    BTW I though you might want to hear about another friend of mine. Although not clinically diagnosed, she was painfully shy. As a Harvard undergrad she forced herself to go to parties. She would always end up in the kitchen and hide behind food, busying herself making drinks or snacks rather than interact with strangers. She was once discovered making chocolate dipped strawberries by a hostess who insisted on paying her. That's how she got involved in catering. Catering parties helped her come out of her shell. There were other things that helped her too, but if you would see her now, you'd never guess what a scoial phobic she was. It took a lot of time and work but she's now one of the most outogoing and flamboyant peole I know.

  31. I'm sad that you don't like seafood. I couldn't imagine living without it! My daughter is the same way. That paella looks wonderful, though! And, the pan looks great!

  32. I had never heard about Paella before till I watched Alton Brown of Good Eats do a show on it.

    It looked so wonderful.

    For me, I'd love to have one of their olive oil dispensers

  33. Wow! I lived in Spain for a while in college and never tried paella either – for the exact same reasons you said!! I would love to try making my own with this pan. I would use the Paella with Chicken, Red Peppers, and Green Beans recipe from their website. It sounds fabulous!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  34. Looks really good, Memoria. I'm not certain if I've had it, possibly when I was a younger and picker eater? Most likely.

    I'd like the crema catalina set. I'm thinking it's like creme brulee? I also liked their ceramic dishes. Very reasonable prices.

    I'm off to check CAKE!!

  35. I am debating on buying the paella pan with the tripod. I picture cooking the paella poolside. I randomly came across your page and now want to buy a pan ASAP 🙂

  36. I love everything on their site, but particularly the cazuela casseroles. I could really use the covered one. Thanks for pointing out this company.

  37. I would love their Ceramic Morter and Pestle – I don't have one anyway, and theirs is super cute and it seems like it would be amazing quality.

  38. I actually got to eat authentic paella in June at a tapas restaurant in Baltimore, and it was as good as I thought it would be. I loved the cute little socarrat scraper; I might buy that or an individual pan and serving rack.

  39. Wow I would make paella every week if I had this pan. I love the site, they have loads of ingredients to savor over and I liked all of the ceramics , I would like one of each please 🙂

  40. I would add to my collection of Tapas cookbooks, along with olive oil, saffron and an olive oil can. I'm happy to discover both your site and theirs. Happy 5th!

  41. Hi! I came across you blog today when i was looking up how to make an authentic adobo sauce recipe. I don't really cook, but I am trying really hard to start to overcome my fear and step in the unused kitchen, since my mother no longer cooks.

    As I went trough your blog I found tons of information and recipes that I would love to try during my cooking experience. So I just want to say thank you for the blog.

    Secondly, I can across this post and it looks soooo delicious I definitely want to try it. I am probably too late for the contest but I would love to enter anyway.

    I would love to buy the cook books they advertised on their website and also to try to make the chicken paella and the home-style flan!!!

  42. I've had the seafood paella before, and mmmmm… my mouth was watering just looking through everything! I'm thinking I need to buy one of their cookbooks.

  43. I would love to make a seafood paella…you know i love the seafood. I would also like that stainless steel pan—because knowing myself I would probably burn the regular one.

  44. I would want the pan with the burner. I cannot think of a better summer dinner to make outside with good wine and some friends. Your paella looks amazing, gorgeous pictures.

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