4 (serving size = 250 g)
- 275 g white or yellow onion
- 90 g carrot
- 2–3 cloves garlic
- 28 g olive oil
- 190 g Arborio, Carnaroli or paella rice
- 1 quart of chicken, vegetable or seafood stock
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 35 g dry cured chorizo, sliced into thin slivers
- 60 g white wine
- 280 g large shrimp, thawed if frozen
Hailing from Valencia, paella is one of Spain’s most famous dishes. There are countless variations, but what they all have in common is short-grain rice. You’ll find short-grain rice varieties in the same aisle where you’d find your typical white or brown rice. Typical varieties include Arborio, Carnaroli, Bomba and Calasparra. If specific varieties are not available, look for a bag labeled “risotto rice” or “paella rice.”
Whatever you do, do not attempt this dish with any other kind of rice, like jasmine, basmati, long-grain white rice or brown rice. It will not work.
Also, stick to dry, fully cooked chorizo for this dish (as opposed to raw, fresh chorizo sausage found in the meat department). Look for dry chorizo in the cheese and charcuterie aisle, next to wherever your dry salami is sold.
Lastly, read the recipe fully before cooking. Paella is ultimately very simple to make, but cooking order is important and it’s helpful to know your process before beginning!
- Pour the stock into a saucepot and warm it over medium heat. There is no need to boil the stock, but it does need to be hot. Taste the stock and add salt if necessary. It should be well seasoned and taste like the sea.
- In a food processor, pulse the onion, carrot and garlic until minced. (Alternatively, dice everything into 1/4-inch pieces by hand.)
- Cut the chorizo lengthwise and then into thin half-moon slices.
- In the largest frying pan you own (10+ inches across), heat the oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and carrot mixture. Let everything cook until the onions soften and turn translucent, about 5 minutes.
- When the onions are cooked, add the smoked paprika to the pan and stir to combine. Let the paprika toast for about a minute, then add the white wine. Use a spoon to scrape up any brown bits at the bottom of the pan while the wine boils off.
- When the wine is nearly evaporated, add the dry rice and chorizo. Stir everything together and let the edges of the rice turn translucent (this will only take a few seconds). Shake the pan to settle the rice in an even layer, and then pour the hot stock over the rice. Keep the pan over medium-high heat, but do not stir. Let the rice bubble but don’t agitate it.
- After about 15 minutes, gently nestle the shrimp into the paella. Do not layer the shrimp on top of each other and try not to disturb the rice. If you have extra shrimp, cook it separately and serve it on the side.
- The rice is finished when all the liquid has evaporated and the individual grains are cooked through.
- To achieve paella’s signature crispy bottom, called socarrat, keep the rice on the stove for 3–4 minutes after the liquid has evaporated. Pay attention to how it smells in order to make sure it isn’t burning. The paella should smell toasty, but not burned.
- After 3–4 minutes, remove the pan from the heat, cover it with foil and let the paella rest for 5–10 minutes. Serve Immediately
If you notice that all your liquid is evaporating more quickly than your rice is cooking, add a bit more hot water to your pan to ensure that your rice fully cooks.