p a e l l a >> the simple way

A few months ago my friend Hayley convinced me to try HelloFresh. Have you heard of them? Basically, it's this super-convenient service that delivers all the ingredients you'd need for 3 meals, in perfect portions, with recipe cards included. I don't think cooking gets any easier than that! Hayley sent me a link to receive a three-meal box for only £19, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try! After the first box, though, it became a bit too expensive to make it a regular habit. But the service comes highly recommended! 

My favorite part of trying HelloFresh was that each meal they sent were recipes that I wouldn't have tried on my own. That week, I made [for the first time] lamb kaftas, pork risotto, and paella. 

Each meal was so tasty, but the paella truly stands out among the crowd. Since then, I've made paella at least once every other week, tweaking it each time. Traditional Spanish paella sometimes uses shrimp, muscles, or rabbit, but I've learned it DOES NOT use chorizo. This recipe I use is chicken-only, but it's so tasty, fresh, and is perfect to eat year-round.

[simple] paella

Total time: 50 minutes (includes veggie chopping)
Feeds: 4 really hungry adults

Cast of characters: 

- 2 cups basmati rice
- cherry tomatoes
- 2 red peppers
- 1 orange pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1/2 onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 chicken stock pots
- 4-6 chicken thighs, depending on how "meaty" you want it
- salt
- pepper
- olive oil
- 1 lemon
- 5-ish cups boiling water
- 3 T chopped parsley (optional)


1. Chop it all up!

I love that this recipe is a one-dish meal, but it does require about 15 minutes of chopping (depending on how fast you are) before starting. Here's what you'll do:
- dice the chicken (raw)
- slice the peppers into thin slices
- dice the onion
- half the cherry tomatoes
- half the lemon, then quarter one half

2. Cook the chicken

Put some olive oil in a LARGE pan over medium-high heat. Once heated, throw in your diced chicken. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Cook until finished, then remove from pan and set aside.

3. WASH THE RICE & start the kettle

I cannot emphasise this step enough. You should always wash your rice... It's meant to be washed and tastes SO much better! While the chicken is cooking, give your rice a good 2 minute bath while the kettle starts with water.

4. Cook the veggies

In the same pan you used for chicken, add a bit more olive oil, then add your garlic and onions. Let them soften a bit (smell the heavenly aroma). Then add your peppers. Let them soften for about 3 minutes, then add your cherry tomatoes. Mix all this up and allow to cook/soften for 5 more minutes. You may want to stop here and just eat the veggies. YUM!!

5. Add the rice

Let the rice mix in with all the oil/juices and cook for about 3 minutes. This preps the rice and makes it oh-so-tasty. ** at this point, if you want, you can add your chopped parsley**

6. Pour in the water, plus add the stockpot

Once the rice has softened, add the water and the stockpot and mix really well. All of the stockpot needs to dissolve. Make sure the rice isn't sticking to the side of your pan, but is all in the broth.

7. Add chicken, lower heat to medium and let simmer for 10 minutes

Once it's simmered for 10 minutes, return to stove and give it another good mix. Make sure the rice on the outside of the pan gets pushed to the middle, so that it all cooks evenly.

8. Let simmer another 5 minutes

Repeat step 7.

9. Let simmer another 5-10 minutes 

Or, until the rice has soaked up the water. Your paella should stick a bit to the bottom of the pan when it's done.

10. Add the lemon and serve!

Remember that lemon we sliced? Add as much of the large half as you want, then mix your paella together. Serve hot with a small lemon wedge on the side. YUM!!

And, as the Spanish say, BUEN PROVECHO! :)

PS - I'm realizing that this is the third recipe I've ever posted, and I prepared it in our little Parisian flat. The last time I blogged a recipe was HERE in 2011 when I used Daniel's seminary apartment kitchen, and the time before that was HERE, when I cooked in a shared kitchen in Guatemala. Ha, maybe one day I'll show you that I really do cook in my own kitchen!

No comments:

Post a Comment