Rach-aroni Paella


  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup 1/2-inch pieces vermicelli pasta or spaghetti (a couple generous handfuls)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped or 1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (1/3 palmful)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika (1/3 palmful)
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound peeled, deveined medium shrimp
  • 1/2 pound frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 pound Spanish chorizo sausage, cut into cubes or sliced into half-moons
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/3 cup white wine or dry sherry


In a medium size saucepan, keep the chicken broth and saffron warm over medium-low heat.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO, one turn of the pan, and the butter over medium heat. Add the vermicelli and toast until golden, 2-3 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the rice to coat, then add the thyme, turmeric, paprika and cinnamon; season with salt and pepper. Pour in the saffron broth and bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the shrimp, peas and parsley and cover and cook for 3 minutes. Uncover the pan, increase the heat to medium and cook until the rice is golden, 2-3 minutes.

In another skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon EVOO, one turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook until the fat renders, about 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Pour in the wine, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Stir into the crispy rice.

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Rachael Ray