Cast Iron Paella

Serves 5-6.
Prep Time:
Total Time:

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe

Helpful Equipment:

non stick skillet

A chicken paella recipe adapted for a cast iron skillet. Served with a garlic aioli.

Crazily adapted from this recipe.


2 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms
3 Cups water
6-8 Tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds chicken, cubed (you could sub 1 pound of shrimp for one pound of chicken)
1 pound mixed mushrooms, I used a mix of shiitake and oyster
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Cups short grain white rice (paella rice)
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 Teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in a bit of warm water
2 Cups chicken broth
Chopped parsley (garnish)

Allioli recipe (Served with paella)

4 garlic cloves, halved and center germ removed
1/2 Teaspoon fine salt
2 large egg yolks
3 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar
1 Cup light olive oil
Fresh black pepper


1) For allioli, smash garlic cloves and add them to a medium bowl.  Use a fork to mash them up even more.  Whisk in egg yolks, vinegar, water, and salt.

2) Set bowl over a water bath with simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water).  Whisk continuously until temp is 140 degrees.  It should take about 3 minutes and be hot to the touch, but not boiling.  Continue to whisk, keeping it at that temperature for 3 more minutes.

3) Let yolk mixture cool and then whisk in oil in a steady, slow steam.  Whisk constantly and it should thicken up.  Season with black pepper.  This can be made in advance and stored in the fridge.

4) For Paella, bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add to a bowl with dried mushrooms.  Let reconstitute for about an hour.  Then strain broth and squeeze any liquid you can out of mushrooms.

5) Dice fresh mushrooms, onion, garlic, and chicken.

6) Add a few tablespoons of oil to a cast iron skillet over high heat.  Sear chicken in two batches for about 5 minutes per batch.  Chicken doesn’t need to be cooked through, just seared.

7) Remove to a bowl.  Add a bit more oil and sear mushrooms.  After a few minutes add onions and garlic and continue to cook.  Season with salt and pepper and cook for another minute or two until slightly soft, but not completely cooked.

8) Add mushrooms and onions to chicken and set aside.

9) Add a bit more oil to pan along with rice.  Stir over medium-high heat for about a minute to coat rice.

10) Add mushroom broth, spices, tomatoes, saffron (and broth), chicken, onions, mushrooms, and 1/2-1 Cup of chicken stock.  The liquid should just cover all the ingredients.

11) Bring to a simmer on the stove and then add to a 400 degree oven.  Cook for 30-40 minutes, checking frequently.  If it is dry at any point and the rice still isn’t cooked, add a bit more stock.

12) It’s done with the edges are a bit crusty and the rice is cooked al dente.

13) Serve with chopped parsley and allioli.