This recipe was adapted from Yummy Magazine (Philippines) Meals and Minutes Cookbook and if we don’t want to slave for hours upon hours on my MIL’s secret paella recipe, this is a quick fix for paella cravings. It is super quick and tasty. I am posting this, as requested by friends, who tasted it during a potluck party.
2 tablespoons olive oil (regular, not extra virgin)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 piece red bell pepper, sliced thinly
1/2 piece green bell pepper, sliced thinly
1/2 to 1 piece chorizo Bilbao, sliced thinly
5-6 strips bacon cut into smaller pieces
1 chicken breast cutlet, cut into cubes
1/4 + 1/4 teaspoon Spanish paprika (prepare separately)
1 chicken bouillon cubes
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 to 3 1/2 cups cooked rice
1. Cook rice the usual way, except add 1/4 teaspoon paprika to the water and mix well before popping on the lid.
2. Heat half the olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the bacon till crispy. Remove the bacon and place on a plate beside your pan.
3. Sear the chorizo in the pan with the remaining oil. Set aside in the plate with the bacon.
4. Sautee garlic for a few seconds (don’t let it brown) then add in onions, and bell peppers – cook until aromatic. Don’t overcook. Add a little oil if needed, then add in the chicken cubes and sear.
5. Put back the bacon and chorizo into the pan with another 1/4 teaspoon paprika and the bouillon cube.
5. Add in cooked rice and toss completely until color has blended. Taste and adjust seasoning (salt and pepper). Add paprika if the colouring is too light.
– Personally I don’t like very oily rice. Did you notice that we only add enough oil to get the sautéing and searing done? Besides the bacon and chorizo are very oily already. When we set them aside after searing, DO NOT place them on paper towels because this dries them out and you lose their flavourful oils.
– If your stainless steel pan is hot enough and coated properly with hot oil, it should not stick. If you aren’t confident then use a non-stickpan. This makes it easier to scrape out the burnt bits too. It’s a win-win.
– The original recipe calls for 1/4 cup of corn oil. Yikes. We never use corn oil for cooking because it contains unhealthy and inflammatory Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, so we use olive oil.
– The perfect paella for me is not soggy or wet. But we don’t over-dry it either because the chicken should be seared outside but moist inside. So I guess what I am saying is don’t cook this too long or dry out your chicken and meat. Sear on higher heat. Once everything is seared, mixed and colored to perfection, turn of the heat and your done!
– Paella for us is perfect when there are crispy bits at the bottom. For us this is the highlight of a paella meal.
– This “recipe” is merely a guide. We taste at every step to make sure that the paella we are making is suited to our personal liking. So don’t just follow this recipe, adjust until it suits your own family’s taste!
– Save a few slices of the seared (not soggy) bell peppers to place on top of the rice for a nice touch when serving. Presentation counts!
If you want to view the original recipe online, it is posted here. This recipe is great for first time paella makers, or even if you are a total paella pro, but don’t have hours to make it. I find it very easy, yet a total crowd pleaser. Perfect for the busy holidays when there is so much to do, so little time and so many parties to attend or host!
image credits: paella | chorizo bell peppers