I fell in love with Paella from the first time I ate it in Spain when I was a teenager. It soaks up that Olive Oil, seafood and garlic, yum! I can hear castanets and wailing when I eat it. Depending on the region there are different ingredients to a Paella. This is a full-on Paella with some of my favourite ingredients. It is from this original that I get my ideas for quicker, simpler rice dishes.
t = teaspoon, T = tablespoon
6 cups chicken stock/broth
½ t Saffron
¼ t Smoked Spanish Paprika (or use regular Paprika)
2 small, chickens (two and half lbs. each)
¼ lb. chorizo (cooking Chorizo not slicing Chorizo) optional
4T chopped garlic
2 roasted Piquillo Peppers (or Bell Peppers)
Piquillo Peppers are smokey chilli peppers, not hot, they come in jars
1 lb. shrimp
4 Jumbo Shrimp in the shell with heads on.
3 cups Paella rice. (Bomba or Calaspara)
These are the two Paella rice I know, there may be others
5T. Parsley chopped
2 bay leaves, powdered or crumbled
½ cup dry white wine
¼ lb. fresh peas
You can use frozen peas and add in at the last 5 mins. of cooking
18 clams and or muscles (Scrubbed and de-bearded)
Lemon wedges and parsley for garnish
CUT chicken into small pieces,
Each breast into 4, thighs into 2, cut off wingtips and separate wing joint.
DRY all pieces, salt and fry them ‘til golden then remove from pan to a warm plate.
FRY chorizo and ham in the pan for 10 minutes
ADD onion, garlic, peppers and fry ‘til onion is soft
ADD shrimp cook 3 mins. Remove fish to plate.
POUR the rice in stirring to coat evenly with the oil
ADD 5T parsley and bay leaves.
You can make this in advance up to this point
STIR in the boiling stock, wine and peas.
SEASON to taste with salt
BRING TO THE BOIL and cook uncovered for 10 mins.
BURY chicken in the rice and continue cooking for another 15 mins. or until rice is tender
The Spaniards cook it until the rice on the bottom browns and highly prize this crispy bottom.
PLACE the large shrimp on top of rice, turn over to cook other side
REMOVE Paella from heat when the shrimp are pink.
COVER for 5 mins. with clean cloth or foil.
SERVE with lemon wedges on top and sprinkle with parsley.
You can, in reality, add anything to rice as it picks up the flavours of everything put in it. You can put in any kind of fish, shellfish, crustaceans, lobster or crab is a good addition, squid, chicken, beef, pork or indeed snails. You can also omit what you don’t like or replace with your favourites. Have a go and enjoy! I love it!