Paella, Filipino Style for Christmas or Noche Buena

My daughter Lauren was dying to cook paella for our Christmas Eve dinner over 10 years ago. I bought all the ingredients in the morning but I wanted to cook it already while the seafood was still fresh. My recipe for paella is one where I can pre-cook everything and place it on the pyrex dish for baking at a later time. It made sense to prepare it now then bake it just before Christmas dinner. I can’t be hassled with cooking just before the Noche Buena.

Paella, Filipino style
Paella, Filipino style

Here is my Paella, Filipino Style recipe. Nothing fancy, My daughter assisted me with the cooking.

1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 cup malagkit (glutinous) rice – (optional. or Japanese rice)
1 cup ordinary rice
2 minced onions
1/2 kilo chicken , cut in serving pieces
4 chorizo Filipino (or Chorizo Bilbao), sliced 1/2 inch thick diagonally
1/2 kilo big shrimps
3 alimasag
1/4 kilo squid, sliced into rings
1 cup clams
1/2 cup tahong
1 hard boiled egg, sliced

Prepare sauce before cooking procedure

1 can tomato paste
1 small can tomato juice
4 tablespoon sugar
1 tablesoon fine salt
1 tsp pepper
2 big red bell pepper , sliced 1/4 strips


1. Cook 1 cup rice and 1 cup malagkit rice (you can remove malagkit rice and just 2 cups regular rice). Set aside.
2. Saute garlic in oil . Add 2 minced onions and cook until very soft.
3. Add chicken, chorizo Filipino and cook until brown.
4. Add shrimps (unpeeled), 3 small alimasag (whole); squid, halaan or tahong.
5. Continue stirring 5 minutes
6. Add prepared sauce and simmer for a while.
7. Carefully remove chicken, etcetera from sauce (Use Slotted spoon) and transfer to a platter. You can leave a few seafoods with the sauce.
8. To the sauce, add the rice. Mix well.
If too wet, cook over low fire a few minutes more.
9. Top with chicken , shrimps, etc that you set aside in step 7.
10. Decorate with hard-boiled eggs, green peas just before serving (after baking it)
11. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.

I remember the first time I baked this Paella. It was during the baptism of my daughter, Lauren. I wanted a simple celebration with home-cooked meals. I prepared the paella a day before the baptism celebration then placed the dish in the freezer. The next day, I baked it. Look at Lauren and I now, twenty years later still cooking the same paella dish.

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