My husband was born and raised in the Basque region of Spain. We recently visited his family and were reminded of the little Spanish store here in Seattle. The Spanish Table is a fun treat for Stephen when he wants “home-cooking”. They have sausages, cheese, imported cans of $12 white asparagus (gulp!) and olives, wine, cookies and of course, paella pans! I bought a large pan a few years back that feeds 6-10 people. I’m not sure if they had smaller pans then. Maybe, and I missed them. But while in Spain 2 months ago, the paella restaurant we frequent started serving personal pans of paella and I had to buy my own little pan!
With my little pan (feeds 4) I made paella 2 nights ago. I thought I’d share the super easy recipe. Paella is like casserole in Spain. Whatever they have on hand is tossed in. So, it varies from day to day. But, the traditional ingredients are chicken, chorizo and shellfish.
Easy Paella For Four
1 pkg Vigo Saffron Yellow Rice (Note: Of course, you can use saffron, but this just makes it quick and easy. Stephen thinks the taste is more authentic!)
1/2 chicken breast, cubed
1/2 lb chorizo, sliced (be careful you don’t pick up Mexican chorizo, its not the same.)
1/2 c Green beans or peas, frozen or fresh
1/2 tomato and red pepper (optional), chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 cans chicken broth
white wine (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 350.
- Salt and pepper all the meat.
- In an oven friendly pan (Paelleras, cast iron skillet or wok), saute chicken and chorizo in 1/4 c olive oil on medium until cooked. Add the onion and garlic for 5 minutes more. (Spanish folks love oil, so don’t skimp!)
- Add 1/4 c -ish of white wine to de-glaze the bottom of the pan for 30 seconds.
- Add the contents of the rice bag and 1 can of broth. Let it come to a boil.
- Scatter the vegetables around, and stir lightly to distribute all the goods. This is the last time you’ll stir it. The best part of paella is the crust that forms on the bottom of the pan!
- Place the shrimp on top. Put it on the bottom rack of the oven for 30 minutes – 45 minutes. Check the pan every 10 minutes to add more broth as needed until the rice is almost done.
- Every time I’ve had paella, the rice is cooked differently in different parts of the pan, so don’t sweat it if some of the rice is under-done. Just make sure the majority is soft and not too chewy!
Have a traditional Spanish salad on the side. Trust me, its sounds weird, but its great!