Paella is a combination of different meats or fish, rice and vegetables, originating in Spain. Usually paella is cooked over an open fire or barbecue in a special metal pan with wide handles for easy lifting. Ingredients obviously make a great paella, but so does cooking technique. What makes a delicious paella is the socarrat or crispy caramelized crust on the bottom, it adds texture and flavor, a necessity of a great paella.
Making a Paella on the stovetop is super easy, without losing any exquisite taste. The trick to a great Stovetop Paella is the quality ingredients and allowing the liquids to evaporate to create a crispy socarrat. This paella recipe is so simple, you can make it anytime, within 30 minutes or less, you just need to have your ingredients in order (mise en place) and be ready to cook. This recipe is great to make with leftover meat of any kind, so feel free to get creative!
1 white onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cooked sausage links, any flavor (I used Merguez)
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
1 cup cooked pork, shredded or diced (you can use more chicken if you prefer)
2/3 cup Bomba or Arborio rice
1 teaspoon saffron threads, at finer grocery or Trader Joe’s
14 ounce can tomatoes with diced chiles
1/3 cup parsley, roughly chopped
1. In a glass measuring cup, steep the saffron threads in 1 cup of hot water. Then, in a 10-inch skillet or enameled pot with fitted lid, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and place over medium heat. Add the onion, red peppers and garlic, saute for 4 minutes. Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, stir to combine.
2. Next, add your sausage, chicken and pork and stir to combine. Continue to cooking the mixture for 3 minutes.
3. Add the rice and stir. Cook the rice for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Toasting the rice gives it great flavor!
4. Next, add the saffron and water and stir to combine. Then, add the tomatoes and another 2/3 cup hot water to the pan and stir.
5. Cover the pan with the lid and cook on low for 20 minutes.
6. Remove the lid and turn the heat up to medium. Continue to cook the mixture for 8-12 minutes. When the socarrat is forming you begin to hear a sizzling sound. The paella should sizzle for at least 4 minutes.
7. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve family-style from the pan. Enjoy!