Paella is all about the rice. And the rice, well, that is all about the sofrito. What is the sofrito? The stuff that you cook in the pan before you add the rice. All those yummy veggies, spices and olive oil that lend their flavors to the rice as it cooks into deliciousness. So, no matter what paella you make, first start with a great sofrito. If you’d like to leave making a wonderful sofrito to the experts, then try our Matiz Sofrito in this recipe. This recipe is courtesy of our friends at Hipcooks.
In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil and add the finely chopped garlic, red and green bell peppers, the onion, the grated tomato and the drained tomatoes.
Cook the sofrito for 20-25 minutes until the veggies are soft and jammy and the pan is slightly dry. Remember, the longer you cook the sofrito the more flavorful it is going to be.
To make the paella:
In a large sauté pan, on medium heat, brown the chicken to give the chicken some color. When all sides have taken on a bit of color, remove from pan, saving the juices too, and set aside.
To the sofrito, add 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir the spices into the sofrito and then add the 2 1/2 cups rice, the saffron water, the brown chicken and the sliced chorizo. Stir to combine and then allow the rice time to absord every bit of the saffron water. Remember not to stir, we don't want to force the starch from the rice, nor do we want to prevent the crispy, chewy bottom layer of rice from forming. The socarrat!
When the pan is nice and dry again, you will add more liquid. This time you will add chicken stock! Add just enough to cover the rice plus a little bit more – like a half an inch more. Stir gently to blend, then STOP stirring. At this point your whole house will small gorgeous.
Once the chicken broth has all been absorbed, taste your rice for doneness and flavor. You can add liquid little by little until the rice is perfect, stirring as little as possible. As well, add more salt and spices until you are happy with the flavor.
When the rice is done and the flavors are balanced to your liking, add the edamame which are unusual but delicious (peas are more traditional). Stir the paella just enough so all ingredients are combined. Check the socarrat before turning the heat off. If it isn't crusty enough for you, give your pan a one-minute blast of heat, being careful not to burn the rice. When you see a nice socarrat, take the paella off the heat, cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for about 10-15 minutes. The crust will continue to form as the pan sits. To finish, garnish with the lemon and chopped parsley.