Ingredients for a paella can be varied. It is basically a fisherman’s stew with rice. Throw in a few peas or beans and you have a meal. You first make the ‘sofrito’ with the onions, garlic, peppers, then add the rice and broth and lastly the fish.
Here is what I like to use:
½ cup olive oil
1-2 medium onions, sliced
2-3 red peppers, sliced thinly
6 cloves diced garlic, chopped
1 can of diced tomatoes or 2 cups or more of fresh diced tomatoes
8 cups of chicken stock or I use water with 2 vegetable bullion cubes
1 tsp saffron
1 16 oz. jar of artichoke hearts
4 cups paella rice or basmati rice
6-8 chicken thighs (boneless, skin removed))
1 lb. large shrimp
1 lb. mussels or clams or both
1lb. white fish (I use red snapper)
¼ lb peas or green beans or both
parsley and lemon wedges for garnish
When the olive oil sizzles in the pan add:
Sliced onions and saute for 5 minutes.
Add the red peppers and saute until soft then add the garlic.
Add the tomatoes and then the chicken thighs. Cook and turn. Then add the artichoke hearts.
Have your broth ready on the stove heated with the saffron added
Add the rice to the sofrito mixture in the form of a cross. This is the way it’s done. Then slowly spread the rice out in the pan. This is the last time you will move the rice. Add the heated broth slowly then put the lid on for 10 minutes and let the rice cook.
Gather your seafood ingredients for the last step (or have a drink of a nice rosé wine)
After 10 minutes add the fish, shellfish, peas and beans.
Let cook for another 10 minutes (finish your wine) and then take a peak at the paella.
The fish should be cooked, clams and mussels open (discard any that are closed) and the rice will have absorbed the broth and is little crunchy on the bottom of the pan.
Remove from heat and cover with a dishtowel for 10 minutes to let rest. Place in the center of your table, garnish with lemon and parsley and enjoy.
recipe by©Diane Marvin- Koenig