Paella sautéed with saffron


  • Prep Time45 mins
  • Total Time45 mins
  • Makes18 cups (4.5 L), 6 servings
*PLUS Cooking time: 43 minutes


  • 500 g scallops

  • 500 g medium shrimp

  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 250 g spicy, smoked cooked sausage, such as Spanish chorizo or Portuguese chourico

  • 1 large onion, preferably Spanish

  • 2 1/2 cups uncooked short-grain rice, such as arborio

  • 2 284-mL cans undiluted chicken broth

  • 240-mL bottle clam juice

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 tsp saffron threads, or 0.1-g pkg powdered saffron, about 1 tsp

  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves

  • 1/2 tsp oregano

  • 1/2 tsp paprika

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 2 bell peppers, preferably 1 red and 1 green

  • 1 jalapeno

  • 2 medium or 4 plum tomatoes

  • 1 cup green peas

  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced

  • sprinkling of cilantro leaves, or shredded basil


  • Remove knob-shaped firm muscle from side of each scallop and discard. Slice scallops about 1/3 inch (0.8 cm) thick. If using frozen shrimp, do not thaw. Place in a sieve and rinse under cold running water until ice crystals are dissolved. Pat dry. Peel and devein frozen or fresh shrimp. Pat dry. Slice chicken into thin bite-size strips.

  • In a large wide saucepan that holds at least 16 cups (4 L), melt butter over medium heat. Add 2 minced garlic cloves and sauté for 1 minute. Add all of shrimp. Stir over medium heat just until shrimp have turned bright pink, no more than 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, lift shrimp into a bowl. Add remaining garlic to butter left in pan. Stir for 1 minute. Add scallops and any of their juices to pan. Stir constantly for 2 minutes. Lift scallops into shrimp bowl. Add olive oil to pan and increase heat to medium-high. When hot, add chicken and stir-fry over medium-high heat, just until chicken becomes a little brown, about 5 minutes. Add to seafood bowl and refrigerate. Remove saucepan from heat.

  • Finely dice sausage. You should have about 1 cup (250 mL). Coarsely chop onion. Place saucepan over medium heat. Add sausage and onion and stir often for 5 minutes. Add rice and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Add undiluted broth, clam juice, wine, water and all seasonings, crumbling saffron between your fingers as it's added. Drain liquid that has collected in bottom of seafood-chicken bowl into saucepan. Return bowl to the refrigerator or turn mixture into a large plastic bag, seal and refrigerate. Cover rice mixture in saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.

  • Meanwhile, seed peppers. Evenly dice sweet peppers and finely mince jalapeño. Stir into hot rice mixture. Remove saucepan from burner. Immediately refrigerate for up to 1 day. Cover once it has chilled.

  • Remove and discard cores of tomatoes. Then coarsely chop unpeeled tomatoes. Measure out peas. If frozen, rinse off ice crystals under cold water. Don't thaw. Add tomatoes, peas and green onions to seafood-chicken mixture. Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

  • About a half-hour before serving, drain any liquid from vegetable-seafood mixture into rice in saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat. Keep covered and stir occasionally until it comes to a boil and is heated through, about 15 minutes. Stir in vegetable-seafood mixture. Cover and continue cooking, just until all ingredients are hot, about 10 minutes. Stir every few minutes. Turn into a large deep platter. Scatter coriander or basil overtop.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories 835, Protein 57.5g, Carbohydrates 85.4g, Fat 27.1g, Fibre 4.3g, Sodium 1681mg.

While I love paella, I shy away from attempting the classic complicated method when entertaining. Here's an impressive streamlined approach I developed to make this dish a day ahead. So, when guests arrive, there's only a heating-and-stirring step left to do. There are few one-dish entrées more appealing than this.

Cooked lobster or mussels

Lobster or mussels make an attractive deluxe addition to this paella. You may want to purchase lobster that's already cooked; two small lobsters is sufficient. Keep them refrigerated until serving time. Then break into pieces, separating claws and head from body. (You may want to clean out head and use it as decoration, as we have done.) Warm lobster pieces, either in a microwave or in a foil-covered pan in oven. To cook your own, add whole lobster to a large pot of boiling water. Cover and simmer for about 12 minutes for small lobster. Cook 2 pounds (1 kg) cleaned mussels in 1 inch (2.5 cm) of boiling water in a large covered saucepan, from 6 to 8 minutes. Discard any mussels that are not open after that time.