Easy Squid Paella

First things first. The word paella is like the word soup – it conjures a thousand different but equally delicious flavor combinations in the minds of a thousand different people. This simple version of a Spanish classic does not require a special pan, and requires only about 30 to 40 minutes from start to finish. We are using thinly sliced squid because Half-Pint found the package below at the Portuguese market and asked to try. It was delicious! If squid is not your favorite, or is not available in your area, feel free to substitute any combination of shrimp, sliced chourico sausage, cooked chicken, or whatever protein catches your fancy. If you don’t need a giant pan of paella, just cut the recipe in half. 😉

Ingredients (Serves 6)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes (or whole canned and broken up with a stirring spoon)

3 or 4 strands of saffron (or 1/4 teaspoon powdered if strands are not available)

1 teaspoon piri-piri sauce (or substitute Tabasco)

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon course ground black pepper

2 cups medium grain rice

6 cups chicken stock

1 pound of thin sliced squid (or other protein)

1 teaspoon lemon zest


Step 1) In a large pan (preferably cast iron), saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Step 2) Add tomatoes, saffron, piri-piri, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.

Step 3) Add rice by sprinkling evenly over the entire pan.

Step 4) Add 4 cups of chicken broth by pouring gently over the entire pan. Jiggle the pan a few times to evenly distribute the rice throughout the pan. From this point onward, you will not stir your paella at all.

Step 5) Allow the pan to simmer over low-medium heat until most of the chicken stock has been absorbed. Taste a few grains of rice. Continue adding chicken stock, 1/2 cup at a time drizzled over the entire pan, until most of the broth is absorbed and the grains of rice are cooked through. Be sure to taste a few grains from different areas of the pan, as some areas may cook a bit faster than others.

Step 6) When the rice is cooked to your liking and most (but not all!) of the chicken stock has been absorbed, layer your squid over the entire pan and press gently into the rice. Squid cooks very fast… cover the pan and allow to cook for two minutes. Then, remove from heat but keep the pan covered for an additional five minutes.

Step 7) Remove lid from pan, sprinkle paella with lemon zest, and serve immediately!

One reply to “Easy Squid Paella

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