Recipe of the Week: Cuban Paella

One of our all time favorites just in time for the holidays. Here's a delicious recipe for Cuban paella with a few tips we've picked up along the way. This easily serves between 4 and 6 adults so feel free to scale up or down depending on the size of your party. We're sure you and your guests will enjoy as much as we do. 

TIPS: When sautéing the seafood, you want to undercook it just a bit. Shrimp and lobster will be pink; scallops will become white and less translucent. A quick turn in the chorizo-flavored oil should be all that's needed to give the crabmeat a little extra flavor. As you remove each small batch from the pan, keep the seafood covered and warm to prevent it from drying out.

Cuban Paella


½ C olive oil (more or less)

1 C diced ham

1 C Spanish chorizo sausage, sliced into ½-inch pieces

2½ C onion, diced

1½ C green pepper, chopped

1½ C red pepper, chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

3½ C parboiled rice

4 C chicken broth

¾ C red wine

4 small cans smoked clams or oysters with oil 

2 tsp salt

2 lbs large raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined

1½ lbs scallops

½ lb cooked crabmeat, cut into pieces

4-8 medium lobster tails, meat removed from shell and cut into bite-size pieces

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

1 red or green pepper, sliced (for garnish)

1 C frozen green peas 

12 pre-cooked frozen clams or mussels in the shell (optional)

Dash Bijol powder


Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Sauté the ham and chorizo to flavor the pan. Remove meats and set aside.

Add onion and peppers (except for the garnish) and cook until onions are translucent. Add garlic and sauté briefly. In a large covered pot, add broth, wine, smoked clams or oysters, the cooked onion-pepper mixture, and Bijol powder.

Fry chicken pieces in remaining oil, until browned on both sides. Remove chicken and set aside.

Add the chicken, ham, chorizo, and rice to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until rice is fully cooked. 

In the meantime, sauté the seafood in small batches. (You may want to season the oil with a few links of chorizo first.) Do not overcook. Carefully remove the lobster meat from the tails, keeping the shells whole for use as garnish. 

If using clams or mussels (or both) steam them in a little water and wine until they are open and just heated through. 

Gently fold the seafood into the rice mixture. Spoon everything into a large roasting pan. Garnish with crab leg sections, frozen green peas, lobster tail shells, slices of green or red bell pepper, clams, and mussels in the shell.

Place the dish in a preheated 350º F oven for five minutes before serving.