Prepare To Make Delicious Paella

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Prepare to make delicious paella. You know you have always wanted to, but just haven’t gotten around to it or maybe you thought it was out of your league and beyond your chef talents. If you can make a tasty pot roast, then you can make paella.

Perhaps you heard your friends talking about how good the paella was last night, and you were too embarrassed to admit your ignorance on the subject. People speak of paella like everyone should know what you are talking about. No worries, just google it when you get home.

Paella is a rice dish that originated in the mid-19th century in Valencia on the east coast of Spain. Spaniards consider it to be the regional dish of Valencia, whereas the Valencians regard paella as one of their most prominent, identifying symbols. There are several varieties of paella that are available all over the country using an assortment of local ingredients.

prepare delicious paella
Ingredients for paella

What You Need To Know

When people visit Spain, paella is probably the dish people seek out and request the most. Most people think of seafood and paella when they imagine the Spanish cuisine. They picture paella as a plate of yellow rice with prawns and mussels. To learn about the history of paella, click here.

The key ingredient to good paella is the rice and how the rice is cooked. Try to use paella rice if you can. If you cannot find paella rice, you may substitute Arborio rice or another short-grain rice.

To round out the meal, choose a good Spanish red wine from the Rioja region, grab a crusty baguette and serve with a light salad.

Getting Started

The first thing you are going to need, as you prepare to make delicious paella, is a Paella Pan. Check out William Sonoma’s paella pan. The shallow, yet wide, steel cooking surface is designed to sauté vegetables and meats before adding the rice.

You want to be sure to gather and prep all your ingredients before you begin to make paella as this will make combining the ingredients much easier.

Authentic Paella Valenciana (recipe by Jason Nelson at Allrecipes)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ whole chicken (4 pounds), cut into six pieces

½ rabbit (2 pounds), cleaned and cut into pieces

1 garlic clove pressed and peeled

1  finely chopped tomato

1 (15.5 oz) can butter beans

½ (10 oz) package frozen green beans

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon mild paprika

1 pinch of saffron threads

Dried thyme to taste

Dried rosemary to taste

4 cups uncooked paella or short grain rice, or as needed

Prep time – 30 minutes, Cook time- 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Directions:

  1. Heat a paella pan over medium-high heat, and coat with olive oil. Add the chicken, rabbit, and garlic; cook and stir until nicely browned. Move the meat to the sides of the pan, and add the tomato, butter beans, peas, and green beans. Season with paprika, and mix well.
  2. Fill the paella pan almost to the top with water, measuring the water as you put it in. Measuring the water will help you to determine how much rice to add, as paella pans come in different sizes. Bring to a boil. Simmer for about 1 hour.
  3. Season with a generous amount of salt, and just enough saffron to make a beautiful yellow color. Season with thyme and rosemary if desired. This makes a delicious-tasting broth that will soak into the rice. Stir in half as much rice as the amount of water in the pan. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until all of the liquid has been absorbed – about 20 minutes.

prepare delicious paella

Traditional Spanish Paella (Cooking Light, May 2000)

Ingredients:

Herb Blend:

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, minced

Paella:

1 cup water

1 teaspoon saffron threads

3 (16-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

8 unpeeled jumbo shrimp (about 1/2 pound)

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 skinned, boned chicken thighs, cut in half

2 links Spanish chorizo sausage (about 6 1/2 ounces) or turkey kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

1 (4-ounce) slice prosciutto or 33%-less-sodium ham, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups finely chopped onion

1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1 cup canned diced tomatoes, undrained

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

3 large garlic cloves, minced

3 cups uncooked Arborio rice or other short-grain rice

1 cup frozen green peas

8 mussels, scrubbed and debearded

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Lemon wedges (optional)

Preparation:

To prepare the herb blend, combine the first four ingredients, and set aside.

To prepare paella, combine water, saffron, and broth in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat. Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails intact; set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sauté 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Add sausage and prosciutto; sauté 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Add shrimp, and sauté 2 minutes. Remove from pan.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, paprika, and three garlic cloves; cook 5 minutes. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Stir in broth mixture, herb blend, sausage mixture, chicken, and peas. Bring to a low boil; cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mussels to pan, nestling them into the rice mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until shells open and discard any unopened shells.

Arrange shrimp, heads down, in rice mixture, and cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup lemon juice. Remove from heat; cover with a towel, and let stand 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

Prepare to make delicious paella the easy way with ingredient packs that you can purchase from the paella company. Your friends and family will be impressed, and you can mark it off your bucket list! Enjoy your paella!