Looking for the best paella recipe that will bring out all of the authentic flavors you crave?!? You are in luck! Melissa Guerra shares Kiko's recipe for Authentic Paella!
Traditional Paella Ingredients
- High quality Spanish Saffron filaments, enough for two large pinches
- 6 cups uncooked Spanish rice (or risotto rice)
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 12-14 cups chicken/tomato broth (see note below)**
- 10 pieces of chicken (thighs and drumsticks)
- 5 very ripe tomatoes
- 1 lb. pork ribs with the bone
- 2 lb. shrimp with shells on
- 2 dozen clams in shell washed
- 1 ½ lb mussels
- 1 can escargot snails (optional)
- ½ link Spanish chorizo sausage, sliced in ¼” thick rounds
- 4oz jar of piquillo peppers, sliced into ¼” strips
- 1 ½ tablespoons Spanish paprika
- olive oil for sautéing (about ½ cup)
- salt to taste
How To Make Authentic Paella
Toast one pinch of saffron in a small pan (about 20 seconds), then grind to a powder in a mortar and pestle. Mix the ground saffron with a little warm water and add the paprika. Set aside.
In a blender, puree the tomatoes with a large pinch of saffron, adding ½ cup of water, as needed for a smooth puree. Set aside.
Sauté the chicken and pork with olive oil in a 17" paella pan just to brown the outside of the meat. Remove the meat set aside. Add the shrimp to the paella pan and sauté for 1 minute. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside. Reserve the olive oil in the pan.
Add the rice to the olive oil in the pan and toast it until it turns whitish. Add the crushed garlic.
Pour the broth** into the paella pan over the toasted rice, pour in the saffron/paprika liquid mixture, and the tomato puree. Turn the stove up to medium-high. Return the cooked pork and chicken to the pan, as well as the clams, mussels, escargot, cooked shrimp, chorizo and peppers, distributing them evenly and in a single layer throughout the rice.
When the broth begins to simmer, the rice will start to expand as it cooks. Push the meats and shellfish back into the rice as it simmers. Season with salt to taste while the rice is still has plenty of liquid.
Once the liquid is almost gone, and the rice looks cooked on the top, turn down the heat to very low and cover the entire paella pan in foil. Continue to cook on a very low temperature, about 25 minutes
Check the paella by drawing a spoon through the middle of the rice. When there is no apparent collecting liquid, your paella is ready. Take the foil off and place a damp dish towel/towels over the whole paella. Allow to cool for 20 minutes and then serve.
**Note: Perfect paella has fully cooked rice, with all the cooking liquid absorbed by the rice. You need sufficient broth to cook the rice, but too much will super-saturate the rice. Therefore, the broth needed for this recipe is somewhat of a variable. You will need around 12-14 cups. However, Kiko said the tomato puree should be included in your broth measurements. You may need to add a little more broth while the rice is simmering, if it looks like it needs more cooking time. Kiko usually fills the paella pan with broth up the handle rivets, and that seems to work. The amount of broth added is where the skill lies, so practice makes perfect!