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Poor Man’s Paella is a dish I made to feel fancy and feed a whole group of drunken idiots (also known as my friends) while still keeping to my budget. Now it’s not really paella, but it’s kind of close enough for me to feel okay naming it that.

First you can start cooking the rice. I use Rice Pilaf because it has a good texture to go with the chicken and shrimp that I add to the dish. I add a dash of Old Bay to the cooking rice to match all the flavors together.

While the rice is cooking, I start of the shrimp and chicken. Preheat the oven to 350 and get all the shells off the shrimp, even the tails. (Make sure you get uncooked shrimp)

Get out a baking sheet and put some Aluminum Foil on it. Then spread out the shrimp over half of the baking sheet and sprinkle some Old Bay on them.  Melt a stick of butter and crush up some Ritz crackers (or any kind of cracker, I just feel Ritz works best in this case) and mix up the butter and crushed crackers. Spoon out the crackers over the shrimp.

For the chicken, cut it up into little bite size pieces and then sprinkle those with Old Bay, salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme  and spread it out over the other half of the baking sheet.

Put Aluminum Foil over the baking sheet, not sealing it over the food, just laying it on top. This will ensure proper cooking without burning the cracker crumble.

I usually let it cook for about 40 minutes, but every oven is different so go with what you know about your own kitchen. Check out the chicken and shrimp to make sure everything is cooked to perfection.

When the rice and the meats are finished cooking, add the shrimp/cracker topping and the chicken into the rice. Stir it all up and it’s done. The crackers will soak up the juice from the rice and meats and give a nice crunch to the meal.

Bowl of poor mans paella, not a great picture sorry.