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Paella 101: What Are The Most Common Types of Paella?

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Paella is a dish that has survived for hundreds of years in different cultures and forms. The earliest paella like dishes were around decades before the term paella and the Spanish version of the dish became popular. In fact, some of the earliest paella like dishes are hundreds of years older than paella! One of the earliest dishes was one from middle eastern groups like the Moors! Before paella made its way to Spain, it was already a popular dish in other parts of the world. One of the first iterations of paella was an unnamed dish that was the product of leftovers. Servants and cooks for rich or noble houses would take leftover meats and recook them in a single large pan with rice and vegetables. Though paella is known to be a delicacy today, back then it was almost something born out of necessity and convenience.

After all, lower classes individuals did not have access to quality kitchens or ingredients. The process had to be simple enough for anyone to do that. That is where the paella cooking process comes in. All you are really doing when cooking paella is frying meat and vegetables and then cooking rice in the same pan! All you need to make the dish is a pan, a heat source, rice, meat, veggies, broth or stock, and cooking oil. While paella nowadays use a number of spices and ingredients, the first types of paella like dishes were simpler. Nowadays, not only do we have tons of different types of paella, there are even versions exclusive to certain cultures. For example, the Portuguese recipe of seafood rice is nearly the same as seafood paella. With that in mind, here are some of the most common types of paella:

  • Seafood paella
  • Chicken paella
  • Chorizo Paella
  • Vegetable Paella

Seafood Paella – A Traditional Staple of Valencia

If I had to pick what is often considering the most traditional paella, I would always choose seafood paella. With Spain having such a prevalent fishing history, it only makes sense that seafood would be popular! The coasts of Spain are even famous for certain fish and traditional fishing practices. With that in mind, seafood paella is probably the most synonymous recipe when talking about paella in general. While traditional paella that include other types of meat like rabbit were also popular, the seafood variation is more unique and connected to Valencia cooking. Unlike the other types of paella, the recipe for seafood paella contains a couple more ingredients. The general ingredients for a seafood paella include:

  • Seafood broth
  • Saffron
  • Clam in shells
  • Mussels
  • Shrimp in shells
  • Scallions
  • Paprika
  • Sea salt & pepper
  • Yellow onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Lemon
  • Bell peppers
  • Parsley
  • Garlic
  • Paella rice (bomba rice is preferred)
  • Extra virgin olive oil

To find a delicious and easy to make seafood paella recipe that contains chorizo and shrimp instead of clams or mussels, you can click here – Seafood Paella Recipe.

Chicken Paella – An Easy to Make Paella

paellas different kinds being cooked in paella pans

Out of all the types of paella recipes, one of the easiest and most basic types of paella to make is a chicken paella recipe. Unlike seafood paella, you will not need different types of meat. Instead, all you need for the meat portion of the recipe is chicken. However, it is common to combine chorizo with chicken recipes to have some contrast in flavor. But you can make the recipe using only chicken without a problem. Luckily, the process for making all paella is extremely similar. After all, most of the cooking methods are the same between recipes. Paella, in its simplest description, is just meat, vegetables, broth and rice cooked in the same pan.

The nuance comes in with the specific types of rice, meat, veggies, and spices used. For example, saffron is often a critical part of any paella recipe. Your paella may taste different from ones you may have had at restaurants. The most common chicken paella recipe ingredients include:

  • Boneless chicken thighs or breast
  • Bomba rice (or other type of short grain paella rice)
  • Lemon
  • Salt & pepper
  • Chicken broth or stock
  • Yellow onion
  • Parsley
  • Garlic
  • Peas
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Smoked paprika
  • Saffron

The ingredients for chicken paella are easier to find and simpler compared to a seafood paella. It is a fantastic meal to make for lunch or dinner. It only takes about 30 minutes of cooking time! You can also easily customize any chicken paella recipe by changing to meat to an alternative like tofu or even another type of poultry like turkey.

Chorizo Paella – A Great Meal for Any Time of The Day

Chorizo paella is here by itself since you can technically make a paella dish using only the sausage. However, as previously stated, chorizo is often paired with chicken in most recipes. You should not hesitate to make the dish using only chorizo, if you want. This dish is exactly the same as the chicken paella recipe but just without boneless chicken thighs or breast. Instead, you would just switch out for the equivalent amount of chorizo.

Vegetable Paella – Eat Your Favorite Dish with a Healthy Vegetable Spin

Eating healthy is important for people of all ages. Whether you are growing up and require a balanced diet or trying to maintain your health as you age, vegetables are vital. It is a good thing then that you can make a vegetable or vegan paella with ease. You can even change out the meat that you would have with meatless alternatives like organic chickpea chicken or beef make from black beans or quinoa. It is up to preference and what you enjoy the most. Your typically vegetable paella ingredients include:

  • Vegetable stock
  • Bomba rice
  • Your choice of meat alternative or no meat alternative at all
  • Salt & pepper
  • Yellow onion
  • Bell peppers
  • Green peas
  • Carrots
  • Parsley
  • Saffron
  • Garlic
  • Smoked paprika

Read More and Shop at Machika Today

Whether you are looking for a great gift for a housewarming party, anniversary, or birthday, why not get something that someone will use? With a new Machika paella pan, you can get your friends and family into cooking delicious meals at home! You can cook much more than just paella with your pan, so it’s a versatile and useful gift. If you are looking to get more experience in the kitchen, then check out some other Machika products today to improve your kitchen!

Maria Perez machika blog writer blurb

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