This isn’t the first paella I’ve made here on the ol’ blog, but it is a much more authentic version than my last one. For Christmas, The Hubs bought me a paella kit. Pan, rice, sofrito, saffron and paprika. I was pretty stoked because I love me a kit. With my not-so-adventurous-eater parents coming next week, I figured the time to make paella is now. Unfortunately, the one thing the kit did not come with was a recipe. I REALLY wanted this to be awesome, so I did a lot of research. In the end I adapted THIS recipe using some “flare” from a few others I read.
The proteins I used were chicken, chorizo (the real stuff. no soy this time) and shrimp, although paella can be made with all kinds of stuff like calamari, mussels or clams. I first cooked each of the meats, one at a time, in a little olive oil. One thing I noticed was how quickly the pan got hot! It was literally smoking in about 3 seconds. Once I got that under control, I continued by sauteing the peppers, then added in the sofrito, rice, saffron, paprika and stock (I used chicken stock).
I brought it all to a boil, then reduced the heat and simmered until most of the liquid was absorbed. Then, and I think this is the key to paella, I turned the heat back up for a minute or so, until I could smell the rice toasting on the bottom of the pan. According to the original recipe, this part of paella is “highly prized”. I added back in the proteins and some frozen peas, then removed it from the heat, covered it with foil, and let it rest for about 5 minutes.
Well, I did not let myself down. This turned out really fantastic! The Hubs absolutely loved it, and I have to agree with the original recipe; the toasty bottom rice was totally the best part. Thankfully, the kit came with enough stuff to make 2 batches, so this will be making an appearance again in our house.