Traditional and Flavorful Paella
Paella is a traditional Spanish dish that originated in the region of Valencia. It's a versatile meal that can be adapted to include various types of proteins, such as seafood, chicken, or rabbit. The key to a great paella lies in the use of saffron and short-grain rice, which absorb the flavors of the other ingredients.
This recipe has been passed down through generations in my family, and it never fails to impress guests at dinner parties. The combination of fresh seafood, tender chicken, and aromatic spices creates a symphony of flavors that will transport you to the sunny shores of Spain.
While there are many variations of paella, this traditional version stays true to its roots, showcasing the best of Spanish cuisine. Gather your friends and family around the table and enjoy this mouthwatering dish together.
- 2 cups short-grain rice
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 pinch saffron threads
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 1/2 pound clams, scrubbed
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- In a small saucepan, heat the chicken broth and saffron threads over low heat until warm. Keep warm while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- In a large paella pan or wide skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and red bell pepper, cooking until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, smoked paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander, and cayenne pepper to the pan. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Stir in the rice, coating it with the spice mixture. Pour in the warmed chicken broth and saffron mixture, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, without stirring.
- Add the chicken pieces to the pan, nestling them into the rice. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Arrange the shrimp, mussels, and clams on top of the rice, pushing them slightly into the mixture. Cover the pan and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the shellfish have opened and the shrimp are cooked through.
- Remove the pan from heat and let it rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in the peas and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
- Serve the paella with lemon wedges on the side.