CrockPot Paella Recipe

Day 233.

I don't really know much about paella, other than the Costanzas invited the Seinfelds over for dinner and they refused.

And with that limited knowledge I attempted to make some. In the crockpot.

I do know that paella uses saffron, and I have quite a bit of saffron in the house, thanks to a gift.

I think I got the flavors right. This tasted good, but the rice turned to absolute mush, and ended up glued to the crock. I've made rice before, and thought I knew what I was doing. I was evidently wrong.


The Ingredients.

--2 spicy sausage, cut up (I used chicken spicy Italian)
--1.5 lbs of thick fish steak (I used halibut)
--1 each of a yellow, red, orange bell pepper, cut in chunks
--1 small yellow onion, diced
--1 head of cauliflower florets
--2 T butter
--1/4 tsp kosher salt
--very healthy pinch of saffron (about 1/2 tsp)
--2 cups chicken broth
--1 cup rice (I used white. I should have used brown.)

The Directions.

Dump the rice and chicken broth into the crockpot and stir. Stir in the saffron and the salt. Add the butter, and chopped onion, cauliflower, and bell pepper. Add the cut up sausage and the fish to the top.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 3-4, or until rice has absorbed the liquid and is cooked and the fish is flaky.

I cooked ours in a 6qt Smart Pot for 7 hours on low and it was too long. The rice disintegrated.

The Verdict.

I think I put in too much liquid. I used the standard 1 cup rice to 2 cups liquid measurement, but didn't take into account the juice from the meat or vegetables. I'd like to try this again, but with brown rice and with only 1 1/2 cups of broth.

I really liked the flavor, and Adam and I ended up picking out the meat and the vegetables and got enough to eat that way. The kids had quesadillas.

Saffron has a strong smell. I needed the kitchen windows open, and today I have them open again with the fans on to air out the house. I didn't realize the smell would be quite so strong. It isn't unpleasant, but I am one who prefers her house to smell like vanilla scented candles or Glade Plug-Ins.

which means I guess I prefer chemicals. I've been totally brainwashed.

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at August 20, 2008

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What they say about this article

  1. I'm with you on the vanilla candle thing. Too funny. Though I do love the smell of saffron, but maybe not permeating the house for two days.

  2. Here is how I do rice it keeps it separate. Use the longest grain rice that you can find, I love basmati(this is important short grain is sticky), heat some olive oil (just a little maybe a tablespoon or two), saute the rice in the hot oil until it just changes changes colour. Then add the water until it's one inch above the rice. Cover and simmer. Or don't cover until the last five minutes either way works. That is how I do most grains.
    Now it's your turn to adapt to the crock pot. It won't stick if you do it this way.

  3. Anonymous8/20/2008

    I don't know if this would help you or not, but our 'rice cooker' calls for rinsing the rice under cool running water until in runs clear...

  4. Ohhhh that looks good, I love your blog, I am cooking in my crockpot tonight, trying a chicken stroganoff recipe, will post how it turns out on my blog. Ill be looking through all your nummy recipes for ones to try. Its too hot to cook on the stove, Carm

  5. Anonymous8/20/2008

    Interesting recipe. I don't think cauliflower is a common ingredient. Shrimp is often in it. Most of my CP recipes call for converted rice - that may make a difference.

  6. I've never made paella so I'm not much help with flavoring, etc. BUT you said that the rice stuck to the crockpot and I know how frustrating that can be. Have you tried using crockpot liners? They are plastic bags that won't melt when heated that you put into the crockpot then fill it with whatever you're cooking. They are a lifesaver to me and save so much time on cleanup! Hope this helps!

  7. hey, we tried your "candy chicken" last night....deeee-licious!!! We ALL loved it and that in itself is amazing!

  8. There's something waiting on my blog for you.. Go check it out..

  9. I laughed out loud at the Seinfeld reference. :-D My husband will be excited about this one. He loves paella from his two years in Spain. Thanks for the info about the strong smell. I'm still trying to get the green pepper smell out of my house from the pizza soup I made a few days ago from your recipe. ;-)

  10. I'm the same way, actually. I prefer the sweeter smells, like vanilla or something spiced, for my house. Delicious savory foods (like that awesome-looking paella) are okay, but only for short periods of time.

  11. This recipe sums up my crockpot history.I just don't get how it could possibly work.Half of mine was always undercooked or over cooked.
    I read many of your other 200+ recipes and I am now convinced YOU ROCK!!! I might just buy a crockpot this weekend and get crockin!
    Great Blog!

  12. As a direct result of this blog, I made real food for dinner tonight-- food with actual nutrition in it, y'all. (Chicken/brown rice/broccoli in my crockpot, to which I added the cheesy goodness of gruyere and monterey jack a half hour before dinner.)

    (I'd share a recipe, but I didn't use one, nor did I measure anything.)

    But it was tasty, and I'm putting leftovers in containers to take to work for lunch the next couple days. Me! eating food with food in it for multiple days in a row!! That's a big deal.

    Thanks for the inspiring blog!

  13. Personally I think the key is not wait on the rice . I have some crock pot pasta dishes that have you hold of on the pasta till say 4 hrs before serving. Then add the rice!

  14. When stuff get stuck to the crock pot I just fill it with soapy water and put it on high for an hour or so. That seems to work pretty well to release it.

  15. Might want to check out Converted rice for crockpot cooking and of course less liquid.

  16. LOL I guess I am right there with you on how my house should smell! I prefer a synthetic candle smell to how the house smells after I have been cooking.

    I have been reading your blog for quite some time, but can only manage to make queso in my crockpot. So, mine just sits on the shelf. Thanks for inspiring me to get the nerve up to try new recipes!


  17. Anonymous8/25/2008

    please please please can u give us a reicpe to orange chicken!

  18. Anonymous2/26/2009

    I have made paella in the crockpot before, and the trick is indeed to ad the rice after the chicken has cooked. Here is the recipe I used, its a weight watchers recipe, so portions are alittle small. Saffron could be added to this as well.
    1 pound(s) skinless chicken thighs, four 4 oz thighs
    2 medium tomatoes, chopped
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 medium bell pepper, chopped
    1/2 cup canned chicken broth
    3 medium garlic cloves, chopped
    1 tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp ground turmeric
    1/3 cups frozen green peas
    2 cups cooked white rice
    Place chicken, tomatoes, onion, pepper, broth, garlic, oregano and turmeric in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Cover and cook on low setting for 5 hours.
    Add peas and rice; cook, uncovered, until peas are tender, about 15 minutes. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving (includes 1 chicken thigh per serving).

  19. Hi there...I have made rice dishes before in the slower cooker but I always use 1 cup of rice to 1 cup of water. The condensation helps fluff up the rice...tasty.