The Kitchen Magician: Easy Sorta-Paella

I'm branding this one as "Sorta-Paella" since, well, it's really not paella.

That traditional Spanish rice dish calls for fresh, homemade fish stock, a half-dozen types of shellfish, and several strands of super-expensive saffron. In other words, way more time and money than the Kitchen Magician is willing to invest in a simple weeknight meal.
This version scratches my itch for a warm, spicy rice dish and only ties me up in the kitchen for about 30 minutes (with another 20 minutes of simmering time). Plus, the clever substitution of inexpensive turmeric for saffron means that I can afford to wash it all down with a lovely bottle of Spanish wine. And that's as authentico as I need to be!

Once you've made it a few times, play around with the ingredients to tweak it to your liking. I sub a smaller amount of spicy chorizo for the chicken sausage, and I also cut it in half to serve 2 people with leftovers.

Easy Paella
Recipe via Martha Stewart

Serves 8

2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 (12 ounces) chicken sausage, sliced in 1/2-inch rounds
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 can (14.5 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed

  • In a heavy 12-inch saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Cook shrimp until just pink on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes (do not overcook). Transfer to a plate.
  • Add remaining tablespoon oil and sausage to pan; cook over medium-high heat until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and rice; cook, stirring to coat, until rice is translucent, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Stir in paprika, turmeric, tomatoes and broth, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until rice is tender and has absorbed almost all liquid, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in peas; cook 1 minute. Stir in cooked shrimp; serve immediately.
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