Hi all! Here is the paella recipe I promised. New update: I am using a fancier camera to up my photo quality instead of taking pictures on my phone. Let me know what you think and what I can improve on. Now on to the recipe!
This recipe is not your traditional paella recipe. From what I have researched from the internet, traditional paella recipes use goat and quail or something that is gamier. That might be something that I can try in the future so let me know. However, for now, the purpose of this recipe is to give a taste of Spain while making it easy.
ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS
One of the main ingredients in paella is saffron and I understand that this can be expensive. However, I was able to find a small bottle at Trader Joe’s for 5 dollars which is not a bad deal if you are just going to make this for a special occasion. The saffron adds a nice color and a particular aroma that is hard to describe.
The other main ingredients that I used are arborio rice, chicken stock, and spicy Italian sausage. For arborio rice, I couldn’t really find it at Ralph’s but I did find a risotto mix at Trader Joe’s which has arborio rice in it to be mixed with a packet. As a result, I just used the rice in the box but opted out of the risotto packet inside.
The purpose of Arborio rice is that it absorbs more of the broth. It also gives a different texture than, say, a Basmati rice. People typically use Bomba rice for paella, but if you can’t find it, then feel free to use Arborio rice which will have the same effect.
As for the chicken stock, I have seen some people create a stock with the outer shells of shrimp and add that to the chicken stock to create a different element other than chicken. You can absolutely do that and I would recommend that if you have the time and resources. I had used frozen seafood with no shells in this recipe so I wasn’t able to do that. However, adding the shells into the chicken broth then straining adds another dimension to the stock.
Lastly…the Italian sausage. I wanted to use chorizo for this dish. However, I couldn’t get my hands on any. As a result, I used Italian sausage. I would recommend the chorizo, though, because there are more spices in there that compliment the paella.
COOKING YOUR PAELLA
Personally, the process of making paella is the more complicated part than the ingredients. In regards to gear, most people use a paella pan. I didn’t have one so I used on a open flat pan that could hold liquids and be put into the oven.
Traditionally, paella is cooked entirely on the stovetop. In my case, however, I was using whole chicken drumsticks which will not full cook on the stovetop. I used a combination of stovetop and oven to fully cook everything.
Ok, thanks for reading my paella rant and now here is the recipe!
- chicken drumsticks (4-5)
- saffron (a pinch)
- sausage (2-3 links)
- 3 cups of chicken broth
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup frozen seafood
- cayenne ( a pinch)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 and 1/2 cups of arborio rice
- parsley to garnish
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes/canned tomato
- sliced lemon
- Preheat oven to 420 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat some olive oil in a pan.
- Add chicken drumsticks and salt and pepper (1-1 1/2 tsp each).
- Sear until it develops a nice color then remove from heat.
- Cut the sausage links into coins, sear in the same pan, and remove after developing color. (During this process, if you need to add more olive oil, then do so to avoid sticking.)
- In a separate skillet, fold the saffron in a square of foil to warm up the spice.
- Put the heat on medium and heat spice for a minute.
- Remove the saffron from the heat.
- In the pan with the oil, add the arborio rice and mix it in the olive oil and juices on medium-high heat for a minute.
- Add the chicken, sausage, peas, saffron, tomatoes, seafood, and paprika into the pan and add the chicken stock.
- Place pan into the oven for 30 minutes until chicken is full cooked through.
- If during this time, the amount of liquid has decreased so the top of the rice is sticking through, add more chicken broth.
- Remove the pan from the oven and bring the pan to a high heat on the stove to finish it off.
- Heat the pan in order to reduce the rest of the liquid. The rice should almost be finished at this point.
- Once the rice is fully cooked through (taste it), add additional salt and pepper to taste, garnish with parsley and lemon wedges, and serve.