What Is Paella?Paella is a flavorful and versatile rice dish that originated in Valencia, Spain. It’s traditionally made with rice, meat, seafood, beans, vegetables, and aromatic spices.Learn more: What Is Paella and How Do You Make It At Home?
What Is in Paella?
This recipe calls for chicken breasts, but you can use any cut of chicken you like. Some reviewers choose chicken legs or thighs.Chorizo
Chorizo will add a little kick to the paella. If you’re in a pinch, you can use cubes of cured chorizo to save some prep time.Shrimp
Buy pre-peeled and deveined shrimp to save on prep time.Rice
Of course, the major ingredient in paella is rice. Any Spanish or short-grain rice will work.Vegetables
This paella has a Spanish onion and red bell pepper. Some reviewers like to add more bell pepper, or even peas.Chicken Stock
To keep the paella from drying out, add chicken stock.Spices
Paella is super flavorful thanks to the saffron, bay leaf, Italian parsley, garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper in the dish.
What Rice Should You Use For Paella?Spanish rice, or bomba rice, is the most common rice used in paella. However, any short-grain white rice, or even medium-grain white rice, will work.
How to Make Easy Paella
Marinate the ChickenAllow the chicken to marinate in olive oil, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight).
Cook the RiceHeat olive oil in a paella pan and stir in garlic, red pepper flakes, and rice. Add saffron, bay leaf, parsley, chicken stock, and lemon zest. Simmer rice for 20 minutes.
Cook the Protein and VegetablesCook chicken, onion, bell pepper, chorizo, and shrimp until done. Then add to the rice mixture.
Do I Need a Paella Pan to Make Paella?Not necessarily. Even though a paella pan is designed specifically for making paella (obviously), you don’t need one to make a great paella. A paella pan is wide and shallow, which is helpful to create a nice crust on the paella. But if you don’t have the special pan, you can use any wide and shallow skillet.
How to Store PaellaStore leftover (completely cooled) paella in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. After that, the seafood may be at risk of going bad.Reheat paella in a paella pan or skillet on the stove for the best results.
Nicole’s Best Paella TipsWhat does culinary producer Nicole McLaughlin (a.k.a. Nicole McMom) love about paella? “I love this for entertaining because you serve it straight from the dish — and it’s actually quite an affordable way to feed a lot of people.” Here are a few of her best tips and tricks for making this one-pot wonder:
· The beauty of paella is that all the flavors build upon one another as the dish comes together in one pan. Let the meat render fully so the flavorful fat coats the grains of rice.
· Paella can be as extravagant or as budget-friendly as you want it to be. Keep it simple with chicken and sausage or incorporate mussels, scallops, calamari, and more.
· Once everything is assembled, avoid stirring it too much. Excessive stirring will create a creamy risotto — we’re after a more pilaf-like texture.
Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise“Other than adding more chicken and omitting the shrimp, I followed the directions exactly. I think this is the best thing I’ve ever cooked. My family enjoyed it. I was told repeatedly how good it was. I would suggest ANYONE to cook this, it is easy and you feel accomplished after crafting such a delicious meal,” says My soul cleaveth unto the dust.“I made this even easier by using prepackaged saffron rice instead of making my own. I recommend cooking the chorizo separately and draining it before adding it to the mix. I also cooked the shrimp separately and added it at the end, since I think some of the shrimp tends to get overcooked if you have it in a large pot with many other items. I made this for my husband’s birthday dinner, with a few tapas as appetizers, and it was wonderful,” according to Sara.
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