I have finally made it – the grand dame of all Spanish dishes: the paella. What I find greatest about this incredible dish is that it is completely customizable. You can use whatever vegetables, meats, seafood combination you want. I have summarized some traditional ones but remember the combinations are indefinite and the choice is up to you!
Paella Valenciana: chicken, pork and/or rabbit.
Paella Marisco (Seafood Paella): prawns, mussels, calamari.
Paella Mixta : meat (e.g. sausage) and seafood
Paella Vegetal or Vegetariana : only vegetables
My Paella Recipe:
- 2 cups rice (white or arborio rice is a good choice)
- half of one chicken
- half of one red pepper
- half of one green pepper
- 2 tomatoes
- 5 artichoke hearts
- 1 cup peas
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 5 strands of saffron
- 1/3 tsp paprika
- 4 cups broth
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- parsley and salt
Heat the olive oil in a large pan (in Spain they have a special pan called a paella but I just used a giant frying pan). Brown the chicken. Add the peppers, tomatoes, peas and artichokes. Lower the temperature to medium heat and cook 12-15 minutes, meanwhile stirring with a wooden spoon. Crush the cloves of garlic in a mortar and pestle with the saffron, paprika, parsley and salt. Add this spice mixture to the paella. Incorporate the rice and toast it a bit. Pour in the broth so that the rice is covered by liquid. Boil for five minutes at high heat and then lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes more. Allow the paella to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Note: if the rice at the bottom burns a bit that’s ok. It is actually considered a delicacy!