Seafood Paella

There are special pans available for paella, but a large skillet or Dutch oven will also work.


2 quarts plus 1 cup water

¼ cup salt plus 2 pinches

¼ cup sugar

Ice cubes, as needed

1 pound of large shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 tablespoons olive oil

6 garlic cloves, minced

Pinch pepper

1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced

1 medium white onion, finely chopped

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 15-ounce can chicken broth

2 cups white rice

½ cup dry white wine

3 bay leaves

1 large pinch saffron threads

12 mussels, cleaned and debearded

1 cup cleaned squid, sliced in rings

2 cups crabmeat

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

¼ cup chopped parsley

1 lemon, cut in wedges

  • Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Stir in ¼ cup salt and sugar until dissolved. Add several cups of ice cubes till chilled. Add the shrimp to the brine, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the brine and pat dry. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of oil, 2 garlic cloves, 1 pinch salt, and pepper. Let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack just below the middle position.

  • Place a very large skillet or a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and the bell pepper. Cook for 5–7 minutes. Spoon the pepper out and set aside, but leave as much of the oil in the pan as possible.

  • Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan with the onion and cook for 5–7 minutes. Add the remaining garlic, stirring continually for 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup of water, the tomatoes, chicken broth, rice, wine, bay leaves, saffron, and 1 pinch salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.

  • When the contents boil, cover and cook in the middle of the oven for 15–20 minutes. Gently stir the seafood into the rice. Lay the pepper strips in a pinwheel on top and sprinkle the peas across the top. Cook in the oven for 8–12 minutes.

  • Rest for 5 minutes before serving. Discard any unopened mussels and the bay leaves. Serve with parsley and lemon wedges.

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