Spanish Chicken Paella Recipe

Spanish chicken paella

Spanish Chicken Paella Recipe From Spain

Spanish chicken paella
Spanish chicken paella

Paella is Spain’s gift to the world; or to be more precise, Valencia’s legacy. The history of the dish explains how it was first made in open fields by mixing cooked rice with just about anything starting from snails to rabbits. The original Valencian Paella is a mixture of rice with meat, snails, eels, vegetables, beans and seasoning. Saffron is an important ingredient in this dish; the spice gives the rice its lovely color and flavor. Any festival or get-together in Spain is an occasion for a Paella lunch; this is cooked in huge quantities by whole communities. The dish is a part of the culture of the city and there are even Paella competitions.

Another version of the Paella story stems from the Arabic account of workers mixing rice with leftovers from banquets to take home. Whatever the story, the Paella has travelled the world and is now an international dish that has wide appeal and demand. The dish has got many faces; it could be seafood Paella, mixed Paella, Valencian Paella or a simple vegetarian Paella.

Here’s a recipe for Chicken Paella that’s full of flavour and makes for a good gourmet lunch.

You’ll need –

* Olive oil – 2 tbsp

* Bacon – 2 rashers

* Boneless chicken breasts or thighs – 500 gms

* Onions – 1

* Garlic – 2 -4 cloves

* Saffron – ½ tsp

* Short grained rice – 2 cups

* White wine – 1 cup

* Chicken stock – 3 cups

* Chilli powder – ½ tsp

* Smoked paprika – a little more than 2 tsp

* Bay leaves – 2

* Corn kernels – ½ cup

* Green peas – ½ cup

* Olive oil – 2 tbsp

* Pepper and salt

* Chorizo sausage – 1

* Cherry tomatoes – around 20

* Finely chopped parsley

Let’s go on to the recipe –

To prepare the ingredients –

* Dice the chicken to make 2 inch cubes

* Sliver the bacon into strips.

* Julienne the onions and crush the garlic.

* Make thin slivers of the chorizo sausage and keep.

* Prick tomatoes with a skewer.

* Add saffron to chicken stock and heat it.

If you have a paellera pan, use it; else take a big wok. Let the pan heat up; then pour a tablespoon of olive oil and fry the bacon in it. Keep the bacon aside once it turns golden. Sauté the diced chicken in the same oil till they’re fully cooked and the juices come out. Once done, keep the chicken aside too.

Now, pour in the remaining oil and stir fry the onion till it’s pink. Stir in crushed garlic and paella rice. Spread well to cover the rice with oil. Blend in salt, pepper, bay leaves, wine, paprika, chili and a table of the heated chicken stock. Keep adding the stock little by little and stir continuously till there’s no fluid and the rice becomes soft. This would require cooking for about 35 minutes. Now, stir in corn, peas, cooked bacon and chicken. Once this is absorbed, put in Chorizo sausages and tomatoes. Keep stirring continuously. Garnish with chopped parsley and paprika.

Relish the combination of rice with different flavors. This is a dish that’s sure to leave you feeling full. It can be served as a complete meal or with light accompaniments like bread and salads.
This entry was posted in Spanish Recipe on August 11, 2013 by .

How to Make the Perfect Paella!

The chef at Palm Oasis (Gran Canaria) makes a delicious giant paella every Sunday, enough for 40 people, so I thought I´d show you how he does it.

This version is Paella Mixta (NOT the more traditional Valencian paella!), and ingredients include pork, chicken, fish, prawns, mussels, asparagus, peas & beans. None of these ingredients are essential. There are many different version of paella - just use the ingredients you like best (or the ones you have available)! You can just use seafood if you like, or don't use any if you don't like it. You can even use rabbit or chorizo if you like. A traditional Valencian paella would not use seafood but would use chicken, rabbit and even snails. To be honest, Valencians are very proud of their traditional paella, and are a bit sniffy about the more general versions of paella.

Wine is not essential and neither, arguably, is tomato. What I do know is that this version tastes amazing! Give it a try, it's really easy to cook as you'll see in the video. The main thing is NOT to stir once the rice has been added. If you need to add more stock, do so, but leave it unstirred as some of the flavour comes from the mixture caramelising slightly at the bottom of the pan. Don't have the heat up too high however, or you'll burn it.

We've had some questions about the colouring/seasoning used. In Spain many people use a ready-made paella seasoning. The worst (and cheapest) sort is 'Colorante' (colouring). This is full of e-numbers and there's often a warning on the jar NOT to give it to children.

'Paella seasoning' is a ready-made mixture usually including paprika, saffron, bay, oregano, & a little colouring. The reason colouring is used is that saffron is very expensive.

Deliah Smith (who is not Spanish but who knows a thing or two about cooking!) uses cayenne pepper, paprika (pimenton) and saffron.
Valencian chef Llorenç Millo uses saffron and smoked paprika as does Jamie Oliver.
If you want to make paella regularly I'd recommend making up your own paella seasoning. And if you don't want to use colouring and can't afford much saffron then you could add a little turmeric which will add plenty of colour without overwhelming the flavour.

Don't forget NOT to stir once the rice is added. And a big piece of lemon to be served with each portion is also very important.

If you try making paella using this video as a guide (as many people do) please let us know how you got on!

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