There are so many different variations on this Spanish dish – but this easy paella recipe will help you if you’re trying it for the first time. Begin with an easy chicken paella… and when you’re a bit more confident, progress onto other ingredients.
This recipe is for a chicken paella – but you can easily add in other ingredients.
Ingredients (serves two)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 standard tin of tomatoes, drained and chopped
- A litre of chicken stock
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- Pinch of saffron
- 1 chicken breast – cooked and diced
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- Two cupfuls of paella rice
- I jar/tin of roasted red peppers (for garnish)
- Lemon wedges (for garnish)
- Olive oil for frying
Start by frying onion, garlic and chopped tomato in lashings of olive oil in a paella pan, or large, flat base frying pan. Of course, you can leave the garlic out if you wish. The tomato helps add a good flavour base and rich colour.
In a separate pan or jug, prepare a simple stock for your paella. Either home-made chicken stock or good quality stock cubes can be used. Add a few strands of saffron and a sachet of Carmencita paella mix to get that authentic Spanish flavour. Add more paella colorant if you want a deeper yellow colour.
Once the onion is soft, add your basic ingredients, diced chicken, sliced green peppers, perhaps some green beans, peas and chorizo if you wish. Fry until the chicken is browned on the outside.
Next, add your paella rice – one cupful per person. Stir into the mix until the grains of rice are individually coated with olive oil.
At this point, add your stock. Start by adding enough to cover the rice plus about a finger’s depth – you can add more later if required. Mix the ingredients thoroughly and reduce the heat so the pan simmers. From this point on, you should not stir the paella at all. If it looks like all the stock is going to boil off and the rice is still uncooked, add more stock bit by bit.
Once the rice is cooked, decorate with strips of roasted piquillo peppers and wedges of freshly cut lemon.
Spain Buddy tips
There are as many paella recipes as there are towns in Spain – so don’t be shy about experimenting with different ingredients. Here are some suggestions:
- Shellfish – prawns, clams, mussels…
- Green beans