En español: Paella española clásica
Most non-Spaniards think that paella is Spain’s national dish. Whereas Spaniards themselves think of paella as a regional dish from Valencia on Spain’s east coast.
Valencia is Spain’s most important rice-growing region and has been since the Moorish invasion 1200 years ago.
Valencia alone has over 200 variations of arroces or rice dishes, rice in Spanish is arroz. A true paella Valenciana does not have any seafood but uses a meat mix of chicken, rabbit and snails with added green and white beans.
This simple paella recipe uses a mix of meat, seafood and colourful veg for a lively combination of flavours and textures.
The name comes from the pan it is cooked in ‘la paella’ and not from the dish itself.
In Spain a giant paella is often the centrepiece of a fiesta or just a family gathering and everyone just digs in. Our Spanish friends tell us that they fight for the well done parts caught on the bottom of the pan!
Classic Spanish Paella
- 1 large pinch Saffron strands
- 600 ml Chicken stock
- 3 tbsp Olive oil plus extra for drizzling
- 125 g Chorizo roughly chopped
- 500 g Chicken thighs skinned and chopped
- 1 medium Onion finely chopped
- 3 Garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 Red pointed pepper deseeded and chopped
- 2 tsp Pimenton (smoked paprika)
- 250 g Spanish paella rice
- 4 Medium tomatoes roughly chopped
- 75 g Frozen peas
- 250 g Whole Prawns cooked with shells on
- handful Flat-leaf parsley chopped, to serve
- 2 Lemons to serve as wedges
- Stir the saffron strands into the stock and set aside to infuse while you prepare the rest of the paella.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a paella pan or a large deep frying pan with a lid. Tip in the chorizo and fry for about 3 mins until crisp and the oil has been released. Remove the chorizo and drain on kitchen paper, leaving the oil in the pan.
- Stir the chicken into the pan and fry over a high heat for 7-8 mins, or until the meat is golden and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and set aside.
- Pour another 1 tbsp of oil into the pan, tip in the chopped onion and garlic and stir-fry for 4-5 mins, until softened and just starting to colour. Stir in the pepper and paprika with the remaining tablespoon of oil and stir-fry for a further 1-2 mins. The pan should have lots of crispy, brown bits on the bottom, which will all add flavour.
- With the heat still quite high, quickly stir in the rice so it is well-coated in the oil, then pour in the saffron-infused stock plus 450ml boiling water, scraping up the sticky brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Return the browned chicken pieces to the pan, then add the chopped tomatoes. Cover the pan and cook on a medium heat for 10 mins, stirring once or twice. Scatter the peas, prawns and fried chorizo over the top, cover again and leave to cook a further 5-10 mins, or until the rice is just cooked and most of the liquid in the pan has been absorbed.
- Remove the pan from the heat, put the lid on and leave to rest for 5 mins. Stir a few times to mix the ingredients, season to taste and scatter over the chopped parsley. Serve with lemon wedges and an extra drizzle of oil, if you like.