One dish I didn’t have a chance to have was traditional paella on our trip to Spain last year but I did have it years ago on my first trip. I’ve always enjoyed good food but in the past few years I’ve approached it with an eye to be able to recreate dishes. Given all the great food on our trip I just didn’t have enough meals to get round to it. Guess I’ll have to go back. 🙂
I found a recipe for an Easy Paella to try with chicken and chorizo sausage. While this wouldn’t be a traditional paella it does have a lot of the flavours and it takes about an hour to make. Traditional recipes can take 2 hours to make. I didn’t include the shrimp as half of us don’t like seafood but it can easily added to the dish. I also used brown rice as that is what we had on hand, it takes a little longer to cook and doesn’t show off the saffron as much but works well.
I cubed 3/4lb of chicken and tossed it with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a tablespoon of paprika, a couple of teaspoons of dried oregano, and salt and pepper. Chill in the fridge while prepping and starting the rice.
In a large skillet that has a cover heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and saute the rice. I used a cup of rice as there was only four of us. Add 3 cloves of chopped garlic, and a teaspoon or so of red pepper flakes. Cook this for a couple of minutes.
Add a pinch of saffron.
Add chicken stock in the amount that is needed for the rice you use. For this dish I needed 2 cups of chicken stock. Add fresh flat leaf parsley, a bay leaf, and a few squirts of lemon juice. The recipe called for lemon zest instead and I would normally use that but I couldn’t find organic lemons at the store so I went with the next best thing. Bring to a boil then cover and then lower the heat to a simmer.
About 10 minutes or so before the rice is finished cooking chop up half a red onion and a bell pepper. Saute the chicken, chorizo sausage, pepper and onion in olive oil.
Add to the rice and finish simmering. Once the rice is cooked it is ready to serve.
I’m curious about the root of this dish as it’s not far off from a gumbo. I have a feeling that a cousin of paella made it’s way to New Orleans at some point and influenced the gumbo. I find it fascinating the journey of global food.