Paella, a typical Spanish rice dish, originally from Valencia, is usually enjoyed at Sunday family lunches. Although we live in Dubai, thousands of kilometers away from Spain, we sometimes cook this dish for our guests and friends, and it's always a success! Today, we share how you can make your own paella too!
There are several types of paella. We believe that you can add almost anything you want to it and it will be a tasty dish. Valencian paella is believed to be the original recipe and consists of white rice, green beans, meat (chicken and rabbit), snails, and seasoning such as saffron and rosemary.
Seafood paella, commonly cooked in the north of Spain, replaces meat with seafood and omits beans and green vegetables. Vegetarian paella doesn't have any meat instead has ingredients such as artichoke. Mixed paella is a free-style combination of meat, seafood, vegetables, and sometimes beans. This last type is the one we have chosen;for today's recipe, since it's the most complete one, adding chicken, veggies and seafood!
In order to cook paella, it's ideal if you have apaellera (typical paella pan). It's not difficult to find it - we got ours in IKEA! Or you can get it on Ebay, but if you don't have one, no worries! You can easily use any flat skillet or pan, as low and wide as possible.
Today, we’d like to share Diana's Mum's recipe of a mixed paella, but in a healthier way(sorry, Mum!), by swapping the regular ‘bomba rice’ with healthier brown rice. Why not serve this sumptous dish to your guests this Raya? Enjoy!
- 6 free-range chicken thighs, skinless
- 500g brown rice
- 10 king prawns, shell on
- 250g mussels
- 2 small squids, cut into rings
- 1 litre good quality fish stock
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 green pepper and 1/2 red pepper
- 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- 2 large pinches saffron
- A pinch of Himalayan salt
- 2 handfuls of peas, fresh or frozen (optional)
- Put the clams into a pan with cold water and salt, so they can open up. By doing this, it's easier to clean any remaining sand before adding them to the paella. Leave them inside the water for 30 minutes.
- Cook the mussels on a separate pan with a bit of water and wait until they open. Leave them aside.
- Heat a little olive oil in a large deep pan or "paellera". Add the chopped onion and garlic, sauté till they are soft. Then add the chicken and fry until golden brown on both sides.
- Add the rest of the vegetables (chopped tomatoes and peppers) and stir for 10 minutes until they are soft.
- Pour the fish stock, salt, pepper and saffron into the pan.
- Once it starts boiling, add the rice, and some extra water in case the fish stock doesn't cover all the mixture.
- Leave to cook on a medium heat, stirring from time to time.
- After 10 minutes, add the seafood: the pre-cooked mussels with only 1 side of the shell, clams, prawns and squid. If you want to add the green peas (optional), this is the moment to do so.
- Cover the pan with a lid or an aluminum foil to make sure the seafood gets cooked from all the sides. Cook for 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and wait for 5 minutes until serving!
We hope you like the recipe! Do you have any other ways to cook paella? Please share with us your recipes, we would love to try them!
Que aproveche! (Enjoy your meal!)