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El Meson dishes out recipe for its famous paella

Chef Pedro Garcia shares the steps to make the restaurant's popular rice dish.

HOUSTON — As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we're featuring dishes and recipes from some of Houston's favorite restaurants. This dish is coming straight from the menu at El Meson Restaurant! The recipe for Paella del Meson was shared with us by the restaurant's owner, Chef Pedro Garcia.

Paella is a rice dish with saffron with a variety of cooked vegetables and meats. Perhaps the most popular variation is the mixed paella where chicken and seafood are companions.

Credit: Chef Pedro Garcia, Chef/Owner of El Meson Restaurant

Paella Del Meson | Serves 8


  • 17-inch paella pan
  • 2 ½ cups Bomba rice
  • 6 grams tsp Saffron
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, in strips
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ½ bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 large bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • ½ cup fresh chopped Parsley
  • 1 tbsp. Spanish Paprika
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups light chicken stock
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • Frozen green peas
  • 1 small chicken
  • 8 prawns
  • 12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 12 mussels, cleaned 
  • ½ lb. calamari, cleaned and cut
  1. Prepare chicken by cutting breast into bite-sized pieces, separating the thigh from the drumstick, removing all skin, and making a light stock with wings and backside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a paella pan, add chicken and brown, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped onion, green bell pepper, and mix well. Add wine to deglaze. 
  4. Add the stock, saffron, paprika, tomato sauce, parsley and bay leaf. Mix well, bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add rice, stir once, and lower heat to simmer.
  6. Pat dry squid, shrimp, mussels and prawns, to remove excess water.
  7. As the rice begins to soften and swell, insert seafood in the order mentioned. Mussels with the opening facing up.
  8. Insert the rosemary springs well into the rice. Sprinkle green peas over the top. Let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add stock if needed, but be stingy.
  9. Keep heat low until rice is done and seafood is tender.
  10. Garnish the paella with the strips of red bell pepper, sprinkle with lemon juice and serve.
Credit: Chef Pedro Garcia