Chef Folse's Chicken Paella

Prep Time: 1 Hour
Yields: 6 Servings

Paella significantly influenced Louisiana cooking. Not only was the dish the forefather of jambalaya, but it was also a hearty meal that kept many Cajun and Creole families alive during hard times.


1 (3-pound) fryer chicken
24 (21-26 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tbsp saffron threads
4 cups chicken stock, divided
1/2 cup olive oil
1 pound chorizo or pork sausage, cut into 2-inch lengths
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced red bell peppers
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup diced ham
1 cup sweet peas
1 cup diced tomatoes
3 cups long grain rice
1 tsp dry thyme
1 tsp dry basil
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
Louisiana hot sauce to taste


Place saffron in a small glass bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup boiling stock to saffron and set aside to bloom. Cut chicken into serving pieces and season with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and hot sauce. In a 4-quart Dutch oven or 15-inch paella pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute chicken, a few pieces at a time, until browned on all sides. Remove and keep warm. In same oil, cook chorizo until medium-well. Remove and set aside with chicken. In the same oil, sauté onions, celery, bell peppers, minced garlic, green onions, mushrooms, ham, peas and tomatoes 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add rice and stir-fry into vegetables 3 minutes. Stir in remaining chicken stock, reserved saffron liquid, thyme and basil. Season with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and hot sauce. Bring to a low boil and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Blend in cooked chicken, chorizo and shrimp, then cover pan tightly with aluminum foil. Place over low heat or bake at 350°F for 30-45 minutes. Serve immediately.