All About The Stock
Anyone who has ever made paella before knows that a good paella starts with a solid stock. If you don’t have time to make a good stock from scratch, splurge on a high-quality, store-bought version. We like to use both vegetable and chicken stocks to add depth of flavor to the dish.
Steep Your Saffron
After heating up your stock, steep half the saffron you are going to use in the stock; this helps bring out the flavors and colors of the dish. You can use the remaining saffron to rub into your chicken (with salt) before browning.
There’s no need to stir the dish once your rice is coated and your stock has been added. Our food stylist, Elena, shares the following tip from her father (their family’s resident paella maker): Add the stock to about a finger knuckle’s length above the surface of the rice. Shake the pan gently to “settle” the ingredients as gently as possible, and then leave it alone to bubble. Keeping the pan still creates the much-beloved bottom crust of the paella or crunchy “socarrat.”
Time Ingredient Additions Just Right
When you start seeing bubbles in the rice and you still have a small surface of stock, add your peas and simmer until most of the stock is gone; this is a good time to add your shellfish, making sure that the shellfish are pushed into the rice so they can “steam open” when they’re good and ready. At this point, you can finish up the paella in the oven. When your shellfish opens, pull the paella off the heat and let it rest for about 5 minutes in room temperature. Serve the paella with wedges of lemon and enjoy!
Throw It On The Grill
Place the paella pan on the center of the grill and cook on medium heat; make sure to cook any poultry before, and add the poultry back into the paella pan once you’ve added the other white meat ingredients, like clams or other seafood. The paella pan usually cools quickly so it won’t burn the paella once you’ve pulled it off the grill.