Spice it up a bit with Mexican Paella

By now, if you have been following this blog, you are familiar with the Spanish Paella that has been presented and well reviewed. The dish is a wonderful and delicate flavor of what Spain has to offer, the abundance of seafoods, fresh vegetables, its famous Bomba rice, and of course one must not forget the great Spanish pork used for chorizo. All that's well and good and over time it has become an all time favorite on the request list of dishes to make at my dinner parties. But it's time to spice it up a bit and bring it closer to home with a flavor from south of the border, Mexico!

Bringing in the taste of Mexico is a perfect marriage for Paella. Mexican chorizo, tomatillos, and spicy green chilies simply sets sail the Paella that made culinary Spain famous across the Atlantic to become Mexican Paella that everyone is sure to embrace every bit as much as its famous cousin. So without further dissertation, let's begin with our shopping list.

Enough to feed 6 people:

2 lbs of chicken wings
1 pound of shelled and cleaned medium shrimp
1 pound of Mexican chorizo, medium heat, sliced in 1/2 inch thickness
2 pounds of fresh Manila clams in shell
1 1/2 cups of short grain rice (Bomba is best)
2 medium sized tomatillos, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, diced
1 small green chili, finely diced (2 if you're brave)
2 medium shallots, diced
1 1/2 cup of frozen baby peas
2 cups of fresh green beans, cut in 1 inch sizes
1/4 cup of olive oil
4 1/2 cups of chicken stock
1/4 cup of Tequila
1 teaspoon of paprika (smoked if possible)
1 cup of diced tomato
1/4 teaspoon of red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of Saffron threads
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of salt (to taste, so taste before)

The best way not to make this dish labor intensive or complicated, let alone intimidating, it is best, as always, to do all your prep work ahead of time so that all you have to concentrate on is the cooking. Trust me, it works very well that way. So start gathering all your ingredients in their proper amounts, wash, soak, slice, chop, and dice. You're now halfway there. In a very large pan (either paella pan 14" or large oval dutch oven ) heat the olive oil over medium heat. The oil should completely cover the pan. If it doesn't, just add a bit more.

Start by sauteing the chorizo until they are slightly browned and the oil has taken on a shade of the color of the chorizo. Remove the chorizo and now brown your chicken wings for a few minutes. Remove and set alongside the chorizo. If the oil gets too hot, simply turn down the heat slightly.

Next, saute in the same pan, the onion, garlic, diced chili,, and shallots until they become translucent and begin to slightly brown. Once this occurs, add the Tequila and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Stir well so that Tequila gets absorbed completely by the onions. Now, add the tomatillos and the rice. Stir well so that rice gets well coated. Allow the rice to saute for no more than a minute or so. Now you can add the chicken stock but save 1/2 cup to heat up separately for the saffron threads. Stir well and add the green beans, paprika, diced tomato, black pepper, salt, and chili powder.

While you await the stock to come to a slow boil, heat the chicken stock you set aside in the microwave and add the saffron threads. Allow them to completely bleed into the stock. Add to the rest of your stock. When chicken stock begins to boil, add the chorizo and chicken back into the pot, bring back to a aboil, and then reduce heat to low and cover for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, add the peas, clams, and shrimp, carefully immersing the clams into the rice and broth. Cover again and allow to cook for an additional 10 minutes. When finished, there should possibly be a small amount of liquid left, which is totally fine. Remove from heat and allow to rest semi covered for about 10 minutes. This will allow the rice to complete its absorption of the liquid and you will have a perfectly moist but firm rice.

Present the Mexican Paella in the dish it was cooked in so that it will remain hot. Your guests will be impressed with your culinary prowess and melt in their seats when they savour the first bite. And you won't have to tell them how easy it was to make. Enjoy!


  1. What a fantastic looking dish! Wow...
    Love the use of saffron:)

  2. I've never had paella, but I luv all the ingredients in this dish. So beautiful and flavorful!

  3. I love paella and I love this cousin. Thanks!!

  4. This looks great! It's been awhile since I made paella and would love to try this version.

  5. What a great idea! I've been on a Mexican kick lately and we love paella in our house. A must try!

  6. What a fun way to mix up paella - great flavors!

  7. wonderful idea Nick, beautiful flavors going on here........my kind of eating for sure...

  8. Nick
    you have outdone yourself with this dish! Your Mexican Paella looks amazing!!!
    thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe!!

  9. Sounds terrific. I like that there's tequila in it!
    Congrats on Top 9!

  10. Oh yum, yum, yum. This is definitely a copy, paste and print recipe. I'll be trying it!

  11. Drop-dead gorgeous. I am suddenly very hungry. Extremely hungry. Starving. For this.

  12. Love the tequila shot in the paella.

  13. Just cooked a Paella for one tonight, was wondering how to kick it up a notch...and I think I just found a better way! Thanks for the ideas.