Dig in to Easy Paella, a one dish wonder that originated in the coastal wetlands of Valencia, Spain. The name paella comes from the old French word “paele”, a large, flat frying pan or pot in which it cooks. Traditional paella is a delicious mix of simmered white rice, chicken, seafood, vegetables and saffron. Today I offer you a simpler version, which you can adapt to your style of eating. It’s perfect for gluten and dairy free diets and vegans/vegetarians. Want to add meat and seafood? Throw in sliced smoked sausage, sautéed chicken pieces and any seafood you like before baking.
If you’ve never made paella before, then this easy and incredibly satisfying dish is for you! Make paella part of your next summer get together or fiesta; serve meat, chicken and seafood on the side. You’ll please both those who eat meat and those who don’t.
Paella is so fun to make. If you don’t own a large oven-friendly frying pan, consider borrowing one from a friend, like I did. ( Thanks MB!!) One pan is all you need because the paella goes from stovetop to oven to your table. Just remember to use oven mitts and protect your hands and table top.
Serves: 10+ servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic (35 gm)
- 1 cup red, yellow and orange peppers, chopped
- kosher salt and coarse ground pepper
- 8 oz Spanish Chorizo or smoked sausage, chopped (vegan okay) (240 gm)
- 2 cups short or medium grain white rice, rinsed (450 gm)
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (20 gm)
- 4 oz dry white wine (120 ml)
- 3 to 3½ cups vegetable stock (711- 830 ml)
- 3 medium tomatoes, sliced into wedges
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- lemon wedges
- Lower the top oven rack to the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 450 F.
- Chop all vegetables and measure out all ingredients before cooking.
- Cut each tomato into eight wedges.
- Place oil in a large ovenproof pan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté 10 minutes until translucent. Add garlic, peppers, salt and pepper to taste and sauté another 5 minutes,
- Add chorizo and mix well until sausage begins to crisp.
- Stir in the rice and sauté without adding liquid for a few minutes, to coat the rice and deepen its flavors. Sprinkle in paprika and mix well, about a minute. Pour in wine and scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Pour in three cups of stock and bring the rice to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and arrange the tomato wedges on top. Transfer to the oven, uncovered and bake for 15 minutes.
- ( Remember the skillet is VERY HOT. Use oven mitts!)
- After 15 minutes, check if the rice is dry and tender. If not, bake another 5 -10 minutes.
- If rice is dry but not tender, add about ¼ cup broth or less before baking another five minutes and repeat if needed.
- When the rice is cooked through, remove from the oven and carefully taste for seasonings. Add salt and pepper ( if you like) to the tops of tomatoes. Turn off the oven and put the skillet back in the oven to get the rice firm, 5- 15 minutes.
- The paella should be crispy around the edges. For more crust, place the pan over medium high heat until the rice sizzles and smells toasted but not burned, 2-3 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped parsley, lemon wedges and serve, carefully, out of the pan.
from the cookbook How to Cook Everything,
The Basics by Mark Bittman