Resident Crone
Welcome back, Norscaner! When haven't heard from you in a long time - glad you dropped in.

You're so right. The flavor profile is very different in a Spanish paella and an island paella (Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba). One uses saffron, the other annatto. One uses the dried chorizo, one uses fresh. The seafood selection is very different. The valencia rice has a slightly different texture than the arborio. I prefer the Spanish version, but both kinds have their fans.

Thanks for sharing yours with us - it's beautiful!


Mess Cook
Site Supporter
Oh that is stunning Sage! I recently bought a paella pan, smaller than yours. I'm allergic to shellfish. :cry: and wanted to do one using chicken and maybe some of my homemade sausages. I purchased Arroz Calasparra rice and El Maragato beans from La Tienda online.

I've seen several recipes, but was wondering, since you have experience here, if you have any suggestions for a non-seafood paella. Thanks!


Well-known member
Site Supporter
I'd like to make some Paella, but I don't want all that seafood in it.

It would be way too much and way too expensive!! So I'd have to look for a less expensive and smaller amount.

Johnny West

Well-known member
I'd like to make some Paella, but I don't want all that seafood in it.

It would be way too much and way too expensive!! So I'd have to look for a less expensive and smaller amount.

Sherm, Time to bring this to the top. I've made more than a few paella's and paella's vary to the cooks that make them, just like a haggis. They do not need to be loaded with seafood. I happen to live in an area rich in seafood so it's not a problem, but they can be made with a combination of chicken thighs and legs, Spanish or Basque chorizo, mussels and shrimp. One can use rabbit, squirrel, or any manner of game bird.

The rice I use is bomba rice that is grown in Spain specifically for paella and it requires plenty of fluid. I keep 3 or 4 boxes of low sodium chicken broth on hand as well as a 1.75 liter bottle of warm pinot grigio to add to the rice cooking.

I fry the chicken and chorizo first, take off the pan, fry the rice, then add the fluids, saffron and smoked paprika, & veg; meat goes back to the pan and seafood last. Usually I'll fry garlic and onions separately, then add back.

I do them camping and for parties and will do one soon.

Luckily I live in the Seattle area and can shop at The Spanish Table. They ship, too.

The first recipe I ever used was in the old Time Life Spain Cookbook.

I have a ton of pictures and will try and find a few to post.

Johnny West

Well-known member
Here is a tutorial I did for another cooking forum.
I trust you can get some value from it.

Here is one I posted off the top of my head for the camping forum. This is what I do and don't really think about it as I've done it so much. after you've done it several times, you put in things that work for you and your tastes. I plan to do octopus and other seafood, and then I'm going to do a rabbit and quail paella during hunting season.

Paella is a dish that I fix every time we go to B.C. to fish my friends on the North Island. I do it at home, on the Weber, too, and do it for special dinner parties. As you can see, I'm set up for camping as well. We normally do it the second night in camp.

Paella =:

chicken (legs and thighs) fried in olive oil and garlic
chorizo (cut in 1" pieces) fried in the olive oil and chicken grease
(I take the chicken and chorizo out and set it aside)
sweet peppers, added
onions, added
bomba rice fried in the grease
add smoked paprika and saffron (crush the saffron and put a little white wine with it, then add)
add chicken broth
white wine and cook
keep adding fluids as this rice sucks it up (you'll get the feel for it)
Add mussels, clams and shrimp, when they change color and/or open up, add the chorizo and chicken back into the pan, let it heat up a bit and serve. Some people cook the shell fish on the side and add them. Some seafood may not be available. Don't worry about it.

There are many variations and some folks don't mix the seafood and chicken. I'm not fussy.

I've done this many times so I don't think about it. It helps to have someone prep with you, BTW.

When I do this up north, Sandy cleans the fish while I start the paella. When camping I bring some of the veg already prepped to save time.

I make a fire in the pit with alder. I then make a charcoal fire, on the side, and add burning alder to the charcoal as I cook the paella. It's good to have the smoke swirl over the paella as it cooks. When the rice is done, it's ready to eat.

I get all my ingredients from the Spanish Table in Seattle. They also give out free recipes. They're on the net and do mail order.

BTW, it is important not to get the fire too hot when frying the chicken and chorizo. One time I burned the grease and had to start over. I get too overzealous with my fires.

On another note, use a good but second press olive oil for the chicken frying. After I take the chicken and chorizo out, I fry the rice in the oil a bit before I start adding the fluids.

Here is one I put together from a recipe I got from The Spanish Table and pretty much followed it word for word. I left out some stuff I didn't think important.

There are many paella recipes. Originally paella was a dish made in Valencia using chicken, rabbit, snails and three kinds of fresh beans. Now paella is associated with seafood, chicken, vegetables and rice. There is no right or wrong way of doing it. It's what pleases you. I do it the way we like it but am not adverse to anything odd in the mix as long as it adheres to certain ingredients. My recipe takes from several different recipes that I have in old cook books.

1/2 cup uncooked Valencia or Bomba rice per person
1 cup chicken stock per 1/2 cup of rice, more if using Bomba rice
5 threads of saffron per person dissolved in a 1/2 cup of white wine (I grind it up with a mortar and pestle.)
4 table spoons or more of olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan
1 piece of chicken such as a thigh per person
1/2 to one soft chorizo, such as Bilbao or Placios per person (I use Basque chorizo from Idaho.)
1/2 teaspoon Spanish sweet paprika per person (I use smoke Spanish and it is more powerful, so use less.)
1 clove of garlic per person, minced
1/8th cup of grated tomatoe, without skins, per person (I don't use tomatoe.)
2 shrimp or prawns per portion (I usually have close to six per person. We have plenty around here.)
2-4 small clams and/or mussels per portion
red piquillo peppers cut in strips (We use sweet bell peppers, red, yellow, and/or green.)
artichoke hearts, green beans or peas. (I don't do this.)
lemon wedges for garnish

Heat stock and keep warm. (I don't do this.) toast saffron gently in a small pan. When aroma is released , add white wine. (i don't toast saffron but will next time.) Allow all to come to a boil and remove from heat. Heat paella pan over medium heat, add olive oil and fry chicken. When chicken is golden and the juices run clear, add garlic and onions and saute until translucent. Add chorizo and cook until heated. Add the rice, stirring until well coated with oil (about one minute). Add the paprika and grated tomatoe. Stir, add saffron flavoured wine and hot stock. (I use stock and dry white wine.)

Bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan., then add the peppers and other veggies, if you must. Adjust heat and and maintain a slow boil. After about five minutes, add the seafood. cook another 15 minutes or until the rice is done. (Bomba rice takes time and extra fluid.)

Traditionally paella is not stirred the second half of cooking time. This produces a caramelized layer on the bottom of the pan considered to be the best part of the paella by many. I use charcoal and wood in a weber cooker but most people use a stove. Being able to adjust the heat is important as you don't want to burn the bottom. When i do it on the ground while camping makes it easy to add more wood and charcoal.

I read an article where a chef in Seattle cooks the mussels and clams on the side and then adds them at the last minute.

I take the chicken, chorizo, and veggies out and then cook the rice adding everything back before serving. It can get huge and sometimes I can't get it all back in the pan. I always plan for more shrimp and ask people how many pieces of chicken they want. I even take out paella before I add the shell fish as I've had some folks that were allergic or didn't care for seafood.



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Johnny West

Well-known member
Here's one I did at an abandoned log dump on the north end of Williston Lake in B.C. There were a bunch of old oak pallets my bud and I used for fire wood. I even took one apart and put the boards on the ground, then made a charcoal fire on the boards - it worked great. This paella didn't have mussels as in north central B.C. mussels are hard to find. We did have some frozen spot prawns to add, though.