Paella Valenciana


Chef Seamus Mullen cooks the rice for this chicken-and-seafood paella as if it were risotto, adding chicken stock gradually. You can opt to stir stock or canned chicken broth into the rice all at once and cook.

Paella Valenciana
Photo: © Kana Okada
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

  • 3 whole chicken legs, split into thighs and drumsticks

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 ounces Spanish chorizo, finely diced

  • 1 cup sliced piquillo peppers (from a 9-ounce jar)

  • One 15-ounce can large butter beans, drained and rinsed

  • 5 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth

  • Pinch of saffron threads, crumbled

  • 2 cups arborio rice (15 ounces)

  • 1/2 cup frozen baby peas

  • 24 mussels, scrubbed and debearded (about 1 pound)

  • 24 littleneck clams, scrubbed

  • 6 jumbo shrimp in their shells, butterflied and deveined


  1. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, cover and cook over low heat until they are softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer the onion and garlic to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, about 1 minute.

  2. In a very large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season the chicken legs with salt and black pepper, add to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until they are golden all over, about 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken legs to a plate.

  3. Add the onion puree, diced chorizo, piquillo peppers and butter beans to the skillet and cook, stirring, until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and crumbled saffron, season with salt and bring to a boil. Stir in the rice. Nestle the chicken legs into the rice, cover and cook over moderately low heat until the rice is nearly tender, about 18 minutes. Add the peas, mussels, clams and shrimp, cover and cook until the shellfish is open and the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Let the paella rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead

The onion puree can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before using.

Suggested Pairing

This goes well with a spicy blend from the Castilla y León region of Spain.

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