It looked like paella. It tasted like paella. As far as I'm concerned, that makes it paella.
But Cranky concocted it without a recipe, because he can. He took liberties. There were no shrimp or chicken in this dish, only Merguez sausage for protein.
He forgot the garlic and the bay leaves.
But he jazzed it up plenty with lemon and orange zest. Onion, chopped poblano pepper and some dandy olives that rehydrated into a luscious state. Also chicken broth, and fake Mexican "saffron."
If you were expecting Spanishness reminiscent of your college romp through Europe, you might be disappointed. If you were all narrow minded and unexplorey.
If, on the other hand, what you wanted was a zesty, macho lunch that whispered serenades while you chewed, you were in luck.
Why not? When paella was "invented," it came with frog legs and snails. Things have changed.
I was in luck.