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Spanish Paella

Paella is one of Spain's most popular dishes. Paella is a rice pilaf that has many variations depending on the ingredients used, such as sausage, meat, seafood, vegetables or combinations of them. The meat is usually chicken or rabbit, and the seafood can be mussels, clams, shrimp or fish.

Spanish Paella +

4 ounces Polish sausage, smoked
1/2 pound shrimp
1 pound chicken cut-up parts without skin
2 cups long-grain rice uncooked
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, diced
3 small tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon saffron
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon turmeric, ground
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
3 3/4 cups water or broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
16 medium green olives stuffed with pimento

Spaniards like to use a short-grain rice "arroz bomba" that is grown in Valencia. Usually, two cups of water are used for each cup of rice. The texture of the resulting cooked rice depends on the proportion of rice and water. Too much water produces a mushy rice while too little water will leave some grains uncooked. The right amount of water produces grains with a firm texture that do not stick together. Some people like to cook the rice until a crunchy crust forms at the bottom. To cook the perfect paella, you may need to adjust the amount of water for the type of rice that you use.

Paella Ingredients
Paella Ingredients

Heat olive oil in a large covered pan. Add rice and stir continuously until rice turns slightly transparent. Add the chicken and continue stirring until the surface of the chicken is no longer raw. Add the smoked sausage, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin and continue stirring until garlic becomes fragrant. Add the shrimp and stir. Add the water (preferably boiling), olives, chopped tomatoes, turmeric, and saffron. Stir briefly to dissolve the turmeric, add the lemon juice and cover. Cook on medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed by the rice. Turn off the stove and let the covered pan stand on the stove at least five more minutes before serving.

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