Paella is probably the most famous dish from Spain. A mix of saffron rice, vegetables and most normally seafood, it is a great meal to share. It is easy to make a lot of it and so, serve a lot of people.
Some paella purists say that you shouldn’t mix meat and seafood but honestly, that is a matter of taste. Any meat or vegetable (except the onion and bell pepper) in this recipe you can substitute for other things if you like.
This recipe is for cooking in a specific paella pan, over an open flame. Grills work well for it. If you want to do it on a stove top, cut the recipe in half.
This recipe serves 6-8
What You Will Need:
• 3 cups calasparra rice (risotto can substitute)
• 8 cups chicken stock
• 1 large Valencia or yellow onion, diced
• 4 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1 large diced bell pepper (your choice of color!)
• 15 diced green beans
• 4 diced plum tomatoes
• ½ a 4 oz can of tomato paste
• 12 shrimp (or prawns, mussels, as you like)
• 2.5lbs of chicken
• 4 links of Spanish sausage (chorizo recommended), fried and sliced into 1’’ rounds
• 2 tbsps fresh thyme
• 1 large pinch of saffron
• 3 lemons, quartered
• 172 – 1 tbsp paprika to taste
Brown the chorizo over high heat for 1-2 minutes. Do not fully cook. Set aside.
Brown the chicken for 2-3 minutes. It should not be fully cooked. Set aside.
Brown garlic, onion and bell pepper until they’re softened, adding plum tomatoes at the end.
Push the vegetables to one side of the pan and on the clear side add the half can of tomato paste. Caramelize it, flipping it and spreading it until it begins to loosen.
Mix all of the vegetables and meats together in this pan, stir them into the paste, and stir in the paprika and thyme.
Add rice, mixing together and stirring as the rice browns (1-1 ½) minutes. As the rice browns, stir in the saffron. Make sure to break it up with your fingers so it goes in evenly.
When the rice is a little translucent, add enough chicken stock so that it covers the whole mixture. If it’s been kept warm, it will begin to boil almost immediately. Lower to a medium heat but keep it at a steady boil.
At this point be careful: stir a few times in the first 10 minutes and add broth to keep the rice covered, but after that, leave it alone. Let it cook for another 10-20 minutes (longer on a stove), and watch it, adding broth to keep the rice submerged until the rice on the top is ‘al dente’.
When you have only about 8 or so minutes left, put your seafood on top and turn it over after about 3 minutes so both sides cook.
Once everything on top is al dente and the shrimp is cooked, take it off the heat and cover it. Let it sit for about 15 maybe 20 minutes.
Once it is ready, squeeze a little lemon over top and garnish with the wedges.