I’m Just Mad About Saffron

Ready. Set. Name that tune!

I’m just mad about Saffron.
Saffron’s mad about me.
I’m just mad about Saffron.
She’s just mad about me.

saffron threads

Saffron Threads


Ah saffron, your contribution to Valencian paella is undeniably striking. Not only do you exude a vividly bright representation of my favorite color, but you also supply a unique taste of earthly tones to the dish. Yes, I am just mad about you.

Undeniably, without the use of saffron you simply cannot make paella. Although a bit of an intimidating dish when based solely on the number of ingredients it requires, paella is actually not too difficult to create– just be ready to devote a good 2+ hours to complete this classic Spanish meal.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

3 cups of Spanish rice
1 lb of fresh shrimp
1 lb white clams
1 lb black mussels
1 lb tilapia fish (seasoned with black coarse pepper and a pinch of salt)
2 lobster tails
2 lbs of chicken meat
1 Spanish sausage (sliced)
1 yellow onion (chopped)
3 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 cup peas
1/2 cup of green olives
1/4 cup capers
2 tablespoons of tomatoes paste
1 cup of olive oil
6 cups water
Sea salt (to taste)
1 bunch flat parsley leaves (chopped)
1 chicken spice mix pouch
25-35 threads of  saffron


Everything but the kitchen sink right!? This is indeed a bit of a splurge, but it should feed at least 8 healthy portions and the blend of these ingredients will provide a unique experience to your taste buds.

Here are the steps to making the meal:

  1. Rub a mild spice mix all over the chicken and marinate for one hour.
  2. Heat 1/2 cup of oil in a large paella-like pan on medium to high heat and brown sausage. Remove and set aside.
  3. Slice chicken into bite size chunks and brown all sides. Remove and set with cooked sausage.
  4. In the same pan, add remaining oil and saute onions, garlic, and half the parsley for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add tomato paste and allow ingredients to meld.
  6. Fold in the rice and allow the grains to fry a bit.
  7. Pour in water and simmer for 10 minutes remembering to gently move the pan so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid.
  8. Gently fold in chicken, sausage, capers, peas, and saffron to pan.
  9. Carefully tuck seafood items and green olives into the rice.
  10. Give the paella a good shake and let it simmer, without stirring, for about 15 minutes. (If it seems like you might need to add more water, add just a small amount now.)
  11. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, when the rice is filling the pan, add the lobster tails. When the paella is cooked and the rice looks fluffy and moist, turn the heat up for 40 seconds until you can smell the rice toast at the bottom.
  12. Garnish dish with remaining parsley and lemon wedges.

*Recipe adapted from the Food Network’s Tyler Florence.

This is such a gorgeous meal to make for special occasion dinners. I hope you will try!

By the way, the tune to be named at the top of this post is Donovan’s “Mellow Yellow”. Made famous in 1966. Close to 50 years later, it is still a very catchy tune in deed!

Tune was used in this recent 2011 Mello Yello ad.

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5 Responses to I’m Just Mad About Saffron

  1. karen millen says:

    I like you article,thank you very much!

  2. Stan Strahan says:

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  4. HJustto say thank you for this interesting article! =) Peace, Joy.

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