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Paella Mixta de Pollo y Gambas – Chicken and Shrimp Paella

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Adjust Servings:
600 g Shrimp raw with heads on
1 pcs Chicken legs
300 g Bomba rice
2 tsp Paprika powder sweet
2 cloves Garlic
2 medium-sized Помидор свежий
1 pinch Saffron
to taste Salt
3 tbsp Vegetable oil

Paella Mixta de Pollo y Gambas – Chicken and Shrimp Paella

  • Serves 4
  • Medium




I learned how to make paella from a Spanish actress from Valencia who married an Austrian man, and they opened a Spanish food store in Vienna. Sounds so romantic and authentic, doesn’t it? It was a very interesting experience. The paella workshop was held right in the store. She cooked paella in a large pan over a gas paella burner with a few rings for different stages of cooking. There was a black and white photo of the actress and Javier Bardem hanging on the wall. It appeared that they were playing in the theater together when they were younger. But she chose a quiet life with an Austrian husband over the erratic acting career.  

She started the workshop with somewhat baffling words: “I hate paella!” 🙂 The thing is, that paella is a traditional dish of Valencia, where the actress is from. She had enough of it when she was little – her family used to eat paella every weekend. 

Though it didn’t stop her from showing and explaining how to make it.

Traditional paella is cooked in a paella dish which size can vary depending on the number of eaters as the rice layer can’t exceed 1 cm. To make heat spread evenly across the base of such a paella pan, people use a tripod paella burner with several rings. You start by turning the inner ring on. According to the actress, each Valencian family has a paella pan and burner at home. 

Classic paella is made with rabbit and chicken as these ingredients were available in villages. It also includes flat green beans. Those who lived on the seaside, added seafood, it was called paella mixta. And as it turned out, Spanish people use yellow food coloring instead of saffron! But if you think about it, where could you get saffron in a Spanish village?

The recipe I suggest you try is different from the one from the workshop. I adapted it to home cooking and used the ingredients I had in the fridge: chicken and shrimp. I didn’t use food coloring though, I added saffron instead 🙂 

 You could say it’s a classic paella made on a regular stove that’s very close to the authentic paella. It’s super delicious and rich. Enjoy! 

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Wash the shrimp under cold water.
Remove the skin off chicken legs, separate the meat from the bone, and cut it into equal pieces.
Great tomatoes or pulse them in a blender into a paste.
Peel and finely chop the garlic.
Rinse rice with cold water several times.
Soak the saffron thread in 50 ml of water.


In a large pan, heat 3 tbsp of oil over medium heat.
Add the shrimp the fry them for about 1 min until pink on both sides. Slightly press the heads with a spatula to release juices.
Transfer the cooked shrimp to a plate. You can now remove head and shell off some of the shrimp leaving the tails on. Leave the rest of the shrimp head and shell on for garnishing.


Add the chicken to the pan and cook over medium heat until golden brown. Add more oil, if needed.


Add the tomatoes and garlic. Cook stirring constantly for 2 min. The liquid from the tomatoes will evaporate and they’ll get richer in color.


Add the paprika powder and cook together for 2 min.


Add water using 2,5 to 1 water to rice ratio. Add the saffran together with the liquid. Season with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low/medium and simmer for around 30 min. About ⅓ of all the water will evaporate by the time. Give the broth a taste - it must be salty enough. Add more salt, if needed.


Add rice and spread it in an even layer. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and allow the rice to cook and absorb all the liquid. This will take around 20-25 min. Make sure the heat is low enough so the rice will cook sooner than all the liquid is absorbed. Reduce the heat, if needed.


Don’t stir the rice while it’s cooking. Gently move the rice with a spoon to see if there is any water left on the bottom of the pan. Once all the liquid is absorbed, the rice should be done (but not overcooked).


When almost all the liquid is absorbed, add the shrimp. Cook for another 5 min until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, cover with a lid and let stand for 5 min.


Serve right away. Traditionally, paella is eaten in one go :)

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