Although Paella first originated in the area of Valencia, a small community in Spain, and is said to have “ancient roots”, the modern dish we know and love today has been around since the mid 19th century.
There are multiple versions of paella — one known as Paella Valenciana which is a more traditional version, another known as Paella de Marisco, is loaded with seafood and Paella Mixtra which is a combination of the two.
Today, I’m recreating the traditional version of the recipe which contains rice, peas, chicken, broth and spices like saffron and turmeric. It can also be made with rabbit or duck.
Paella, in Valencian, translates to frying pan, which makes sense considering the dish is traditionally cooked in a shallow pan over an open fire.
Often, there is a layer of crispy rice known as soccarat that forms at the bottom of the pan which is a result of the cooking methods used to create this dish.
If you want to learn how to make this recipe for yourself, follow the steps below!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 chicken breasts fillets, cut into chunks
- 2 small onions, finely sliced
- 1 fat garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp turmeric
- pinch of saffron
- 1 tsp paprika
- 300g paella rice
- 850ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
- 200g frozen peas
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve
- ½ small bunch of parsley, finely chopped, to serve
- Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan over a high heat. Brown the chicken all over – don’t cook completely. Once browned, transfer to a plate.
- Reduce the heat to low, add the onions and cook slowly until softened, about 10 mins.
- Add the garlic, stir for 1 min
- Stir in the spices, then pour in the rice. Stir to coat the rice in the oils and spices for about 2 mins, then pour in the stock.
- Bring to the boil, return the chicken to the pan and simmer for about 20 mins, stirring occasionally.
- Add the peas to the pan and simmer for 5 mins until the rice is cooked and the chicken is tender.
- Serve with the lemon and parsley.
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