Spain - Paella
Wow, Paella was one of my most popular posts on Instagram, but honestly, I'm not surprised. Paella is a global treasure. Everyone knows about it, everyone loves it. What are your favorite paella ingredients?
We all knew this dish was coming sooner or later and last night was the night I FINALLY made it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find mussels at the grocery store so I opted to not include it. That’s okay because this was insanely flavorful. And I decided to share the recipe right away so you guys could get a taste of what I got to experience.
This paella consists of chorizo, chicken, and large shrimps. The oils from the chorizo really lent itself beautifully with the rice, combined with the lemon juice, just delicious. Justin told me this was better than some of the paella he’s eaten in Spain. I will take it! We hope you think so too! Also, the beauty of paella is that you can really use any ingredients or proteins you have on hand.
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 chorizo link (sliced)
1-2 chicken thighs (chopped)
1/2 onion (chopped)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
1/2 bell pepper (chopped)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 tsp paprika
1 pinch saffron
2 1/2 cups seafood broth
1 cup round rice (arborio)
1/2 cup peas
Lemon juice and wedges
Note: I left the quantity amounts for shrimp out because I was only able to fit 9. You may be able to fit more. Do not feel limited to the proteins I listed. Paella is so flexible and if you don't like chorizo but want to use sausage instead, do it!
Heat a paella pan or a large saute pan with deep sides over medium-high heat. Add all of the 1/3 cups of oil. Season the oil with a bit of salt and add the chorizo and chicken to the pan. We just want it to be browned on all sides for now. The chorizo is going to release some grease, which will really flavor everything nicely. Remove the meats from the pan and add the onions and garlic. Saute for about 2 minutes, then add the bell pepper and cook for about 2-3 minutes, until softened. Add the tomato sauce and season with the paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook for a final 2 minutes.
Add the chorizo and chicken back to the pan. Add the saffron and pour the 2 1/2 cups of seafood broth over all the ingredients.
When the mix comes to a boil, distribute the arborio rice as evenly as possible. Feel free to use your wooden spoon to do so as well. Still keeping the heat on medium-high heat, cook for about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp to the pan, either in a pattern or dispersed. Cook for another 5 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium-low heat. At this point, you will not want to touch the rice, but you can give the pan a shake once in a while. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Turn the heat back up to medium-high heat, add the peas, and let it boil for 1 minute, or 2 if you're feeling brave. This will create the socarrat, the bottom layer of crispy rice. Turn off the heat completely and cover the pan for 7 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice over the paella. Garnish with lemon wedges and chopped parsley to serve.
Recipe adapted from Spain on a Fork.