Florida Citrus Paella

Florida Citrus Paella


  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 4 links Spanish chorizo, cut into slices
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup Florida grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 3 cups long-grain rice
  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed well, beards removed, rinsed
  • 1 pound raw large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas, thawed if frozen
  • Minced fresh cilantro, optional for garnish
  • Florida grapefruit wedges, optional for garnish


  1. In skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil; add onion and bell pepper and cook 2 minutes or until softened.
  2. Add tomato, garlic, thyme, basil, cumin and bay leaf; cook for 5 minutes, or until almost all the liquid has evaporated; set aside.
  3. In large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over moderately high heat until hot; add chicken breast strips and sear for 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly browned.
  4. Transfer chicken to a plate; reserve. Add chorizo to skillet; cook while stirring, until browned lightly on all sides; remove chorizo with a slotted spoon to the plate with chicken strips.
  5. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  6. In saucepan, bring chicken broth, grapefruit juice and saffron to a simmer.
  7. Place rice in 14-inch paella pan or a large, deep, ovenproof skillet; arrange chicken, chorizo and onion mixture on top.
  8. Arrange mussels and shrimp on top; add simmering broth mixture.
  9. Bake paella for 30 minutes. (Do not stir paella during cooking. If mixture becomes dry, add more chicken broth.)
  10. Add peas and bake paella for 10 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the mussels have opened.
  11. Let the paella stand, covered with a dish towel, for 5 minutes before serving.
  12. Garnish with the cilantro and grapefruit wedges, if desired.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Recipe and photo used with permission from: Florida Department of Citrus

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