paella seafood dish photographed from above

Chicken Lobster Shrimp Paella

A classic Paella with tips to achieving a great toasted rice base.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Resting time 5 minutes
Servings 6


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Spanish Paprika
  • 10 oz Bomba rice (about 1.5 cups)
  • 3 dry-cured Chorizo, cut into rounds
  • 4 cups hot chicken broth, infused with Saffron strands for 1 hour
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced into long thin strips
  • 6 jumbo shrimp
  • 2 lobster tails, or 4 scampi tails
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley


  1. Heat oil in paella pan over medium heat. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook until evenly browned but not cooked through, about 4–5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan. 

  2. Make Sofrito: add onion and a bit more oil if pan is looking dry. Cook 2–3 minutes until translucent. Add grated tomato and garlic. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Cook approximately 45 minutes, scraping brown bits from bottom every 5–10 minutes. Loosen brown bits with a bit of water to release from bottom of pan if needed. After 45 minutes the colour should darken to a reddish caramel brown.

  3. Add paprika and rice; stir to combine and lightly toast rice. Add reserved chicken, chorizo and chicken stock to pan, stir to combine well. Aim to spread rice grains evenly along bottom of pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook approx. 15 minutes (do not stir), until rice is starting to surface as it absorbs the liquid. Check for even heat and move pan position over burner/rotate slightly as needed. 

  4. Add the red pepper strips in a fanning circular pattern towards the outer edge of the pan. Place shrimp and/or scampi tails in a circular pattern towards the centre of the pan, pressing into the rice a bit so they are almost flush. Cover the seafood with foil and cook 8–10 minutes until cooked through—the colour should be a bright pink. Taste the rice, it should have a slight bite in the centre. If it's not quite done, add 1/4 cup – 1/2 cup water, recover with foil and cook 4 more minutes. Also test for the socarrat crust by pressing a spoon tip into the rice. If there is a firm layer at the bottom it's good. If not, turn up the heat for the final 4 minutes. If the lobster and shrimp are cooked before the rice, remove and set aside until the rice is cooked.

  5. Remove from heat and allow to rest, covered with foil or a towel, for 5 minutes before serving. While resting, crack and remove the lobster tail shells and veins, discarding. Add lobster meat back to the pan. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges, and serve straight from the paella pan at the table.