Spain’s most popular dish. Delicious, authentic, even in its own kitchen with simple ingredients like rice, saffron, vegetables, chicken and seafood. If you like to cook international dishes, you will love this comfort food!
After many tries, I am very happy to share everything I know and have learned how to make paella, in the most authentic and practical way possible for the home cook.The most common types of paella are chicken paella, seafood paella or mixed paella (a combination of seafood, meats and vegetables).
Seafood for Paella (What you must to know) :
If you don’t like seafood, skip it and substitute more chicken and veg. You can use any combination of your favorite seafood, including clams, scallops and chopped fish pieces. Frozen seafood is a great affordable option if you don’t live near the ocean. (Costco sells a large bag of mixed seafood in its freezer section along with shrimp, mussels, clams, scallops, and squid.) Be sure to thaw frozen seafood in the refrigerator overnight before eating. use them. When buying fresh seafood, make sure you smell it to make sure it’s fresh. It shouldn’t have a strong fishy smell. Most of the seafood used here smells nothing, or only the ocean (slightly salty). Make sure to clean it well (if necessary, remove the “barbs” from the molds).
Tradition aside, you’re allowed to be creative
Purists will tell you that the original Valencian paella contained chicken or rabbit, green beans, snails, and fresh lima beans, and that any other combination is correctly called arroz en paella (rice in a paella pan). These semantic distinctions don’t interest me. I think that if the combination of ingredients works and you stay true to the five principles above, it’s paella. Once you’re comfortable with the technique of making paella, you can devise your own recipe according to what’s good and fresh in your market. For some of my favorite combinations, see the Variations box below.
Authentic Spanish Paella
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, diced (I like to use ½ red and ½ green) half green half red to give the dish a good color
- 4 cloves of garlic chopped
- 3 medium tomatoes, finely diced (or 8 ounces of tomato sauce)
- two bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon of sweet or smoked paprika
- 2 pinch of saffron threads
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- ¼ cup of white wine optional
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into pieces
- ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
- 2 cups of high quality rice to ensure good taste and presentation medium grain white rice( I recommend Bomba rice, from Spain or Calasparra rice)
- 5 cups of chicken broth
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas it's the same
- 1/2 cup shrimp broth optional
- ½ lb shrimp or prawns, about 12 - peeled, with tail
- 1/2 lb (about 10-12) well cleaned mussels (without beard)
- 8 ounces of squid rings
- Lemons, for garnish
- 1 cup chorizo sausage cut on small rings (for garnish) casings removed and crumbled
- Add olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, peppers and garlic and cook until the onion is transparent. Add the chopped tomato, bay leaves, paprika, saffron salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add the white wine and cook for 10 minutes. Test and add salt if necessary.
- Add the chicken pieces, 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley and the rice to the pot. Cook for 1 minute.
- pour Slowly the broth around the pot and shake the pot to get the rice in an even layer. (Do not stir the mixture in the future!).
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Gently shake the pan once or twice during cooking.
- Cook for about 15 to 18 minutes (uncovered), then place the shrimp, mussels and squid in the mixture, sprinkle the peas on top and continue cooking (without stirring) for about 5 more minutes. Watch most of the liquid that will be absorbed and the rice on top will be almost tender. (If for some reason your rice is not yet cooked, add shrimp broth or ¼ cup additional water or broth and continue cooking.)
- Remove the pot from the heat and cover it with a lid or foil. Put a tea towel on the lid and let stand 10 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon wedges. To serve.
- Use different rice dishes: If necessary, you can substitute medium-grain rice, such as the Calrose rice found at Walmart or most grocery stores. Reduce the chicken broth in the recipe to a total of 3 3/4 cups. (Long grain rice or arborio rice are not good substitutes for paella.)
- Substitute Pork: Substitute boneless pork loin, cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Brown the pork pieces in hot oil as a first step in the recipe. Then set it aside while sautéing the vegetables. Add the pork to the pan in step 3 before boiling it.
- Turkey or rabbit substitute: Brown the meat in hot oil as the first step in the recipe. Then set it aside while sautéing the vegetables. Add the meat to the pan in step 3 of the recipe, before boiling.
- Chorizo substitute: Add 1 chorizo cut into 1/2-inch discs. Sauté the sausage in hot oil as the first step in the recipe. Then set it aside while sautéing the vegetables. Return the chorizo to the pan in step 3 of the recipe, before boiling it.
- Vegetarian paella: Skip meat and seafood and add additional vegetables such as artichokes, green beans, mushrooms, olives and asparagus. Add the vegetables in the first step of the recipe along with the peppers.
- Valencian paella: This version of paella is often made with rabbit, chicken, artichokes and green beans.