This rice is cooked following a similar process to the popular Paella, but I would not call it “paella” for various reasons.
First, because “paella” is the name of the pan, not of the rice dish (and I used a non-stick frying pan). It is normally shortened to just “paella”, but it would originally be “rice in the paella”.
On top of that, it would not be a puristic paella anyway, as I included bacon to substitute the pork or rabbit meat that many recipes include, and the original recipe includes some vegetables among the ingredients which are difficult to find outside Spain, like “garrofó”, apart from tomato and green beans. As I said the process is similar, but not exactly the same, as I add the rice before the liquid.
Anyway there are as many types of paella as restaurants and homes in the eastern coast of Spain. One of the most popular and, as far as I know not puristic either, includes seafood. Check on our Tips section to find out more about variations.
Ingredients (serves 5-6)
2 cups (400 grs.) round rice (if you don’t find Spanish rice, risotto rice will work)
3 bell peppers (I used three colors, but you can use only red or red and green).
4-6 garlic cloves
4 deboned chicken breasts
200 grs. bacon in one piece
5 cups ( 1200 ml) chicken stock
STEP 1.- Heat the olive oil (enough to form a thin layer and cover the bottom of the pan) in the largest non-stick pan you have, at least 12 inches (30 cms.) diameter. Heat the broth and keep it boiling slowly until you need it.
STEP 2.- Cut the chicken and the bacon into 1 x 1 inches (2.5 x 2.5 cm) pieces approximately. Cut the pepper into more or less into same size squares. Peel the garlic.
STEP3.- Fry the chicken over high heat, season with salt and set aside; fry the bacon until nicely done, set aside; fry the pepper and the garlic until it starts getting brown.
STEP 4.- Lower the heat to medium, add the rice and toss for 2 or 3 minutes, until it becomes transparent. Be careful it doesn’t toast and turn brown.
STEP 5.-Add the chicken and bacon to the rice. Turn the heat to high. Add as much of the hot broth you can to the pan. Keep the rest hot and add more when the rice absorbs part of the broth.
STEP 6.-After 5 minutes turn the heat to low and cook for 12-15 more minutes, depending on how soft you like the rice.
STEP 7.- Cover with a kitchen cloth and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
– If the rice is still hard after you added all the broth and it has absorbed it, add a little more hot broth or water, but bear in mind it will get softer after resting. The center will probably be softer than the rice on the sides.
– Serve it with a homemade garlic mayo on the side. You will find the recipe in our “Basics” section, just add done garlic clove to the ingredients.
– You can transform this rice dish as much as you want, making it closer to the typical -not original- paella, by substituting the chicken stock for fish stock, adding some grated tomato before you add the rice, and instead of the bacon including mussels and/or squid. 5 minutes before it is cooked, add some unpeeled shrimp on top of the rice.