First of all we have to mention the importance of the rice you choose. There are different brands and types of rice’s but only two are the most commonly used:
One of them is the famous rice brand “SOS” it’s not the authentic paella rice but it is the most commonly used by Spanish families to make Sunday paella, its cheap but not easy to cook and tasty and will make fantastic paellas.
The second type of rice used is the so called “Bomba” rice, this rice is the authentic rice type to make paella its pricy but easier to cook if you do well you’ll have professional paella!
The second thing to take in consideration is the kind cooking you use: the best paellas are cooked in gas kitchens, you can do well in electrical as well, but de gas is much easier. Many of us have a gas fire at home only for the purpose of cooking paella. When you cook paella you have at first to use a strong fire and then lower and at the end leave your paella to cook her self out of the heat covered with a humid cloth for a few minutes before eating.
- 1Kg Rice
- Double water for rice: this means if you add 3 cups of rice you would have to add 6 cups of water (remember that in the paella we will add water and seafood soup called “caldo”)
- You can buy or make seafood “caldo” there is really good seafood soup in the supermarket, but if you want to do it yourself cook some cheap fish and seafood into a casserole and get the soup.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE “SOFRITO”
- One tomato red
- One green pepper
- Half onion
- 8 chicken legs
- 0.5 Kg. Mussels
- 0.5 Kg. Calamari
- Natural colorant
- So we begin… Making “sofrito”: sofrito is the base of many Spanish dishes
- Chop your onion, tomato, green and red peppers very tiny then put some virgin olive oil (3 tablespoons) into your paellera or if you don’t have any you can use a frying pan and let it cook. Once cooked add the chicken legs and cook them until skin brown.
- Pour the rice in your paellera or pan, watch out that you have more or less equal amount of rice in all of your paellera (if some areas have more rice than others rice can remain uncooked) pour the water and caldo (as said above double liquid water/caldo for one cup of rice) and put the fire at the maximum pour some saffron and salt in the paellera. Saffron alone is usually not enough to colour our paella in yellow so we have to use a natural colorant for paella. Once you have poured the rice in your paellera do not stir the paella leave it just the way it is until you serve your paella.
- Let your rice cook and when the water boils add calamari and mussels to your paella
- The rice will be cooked in inn and about 15 minutes but we have to say that cooking paella rice is not an exact science your rice might be cooked in between 5, 15 or even 20 minutes depending on your fire and you may have to add water/caldo to your paella so you have to pay very good attention while your rice is cooking. As you see the water is disappearing from your paella put the fire into a mid level , then when there is barley water in your paella and you see bubbles (we call them chimneys) in the surface of your rice and you can watch through this bubbles you can see the ground of your paellera or pan…Its time to remove the paella from the fire, try your rice and see if it is cooked, if not you can add a little water and wait few minutes but remember that when we leave paella to rest the rice will still be cooking for a few minutes.
- Then cover it with a humid cloth at let it rest for ten minutes. Cut some lemon in four slices and decorate your paella with lemons and mussels.