Spain feels like a second home to me. I’ve been lucky enough to live there on two separate occasions, once in Sevilla and once in a small town called Villacañas.I haven’t been back since 2007 but I still feel a connection to my long lost land, since I am a Spaniard at heart.
Spanish food is incredible. I was lucky enough to live in a small pueblo where we ate typical rural food, which is translated as ridiculously large portions of food which sticks to your ribs and gives you enough energy to tackle a hard day’s work.
My favorite dish of all time: Paella. I’ve received many compliments on my paella over the years and I thought of no better place to share my recipe than right here. This is my ‘guiri paella’. Guiri was my nickname when I lived in Villacañas and literally means ‘foreigner’, but in a wearing socks with sandals and having sunscreen on your nose sort of way.
(Note: Paella in it’s form is really a ‘whatever you have lying around’ dish. If you don’t have an ingredient, substitute another in. It will still taste amazing).
You will need:
- 2 boxes of Goya Arroz Amarillo (Paella needs to be yellow. If it’s not yellow..well it’s not paella. There is no arguing this.)
- 1.5lb chicken breast
- 1 48oz chicken broth
- 1 lb sausage (I use Mild, but use what you want)
- 2 green peppers
- 2 red peppers
- 1 or two large onions
- 1 lemon
- 2 or 3 garlic cloves (add more if you like more)
- fresh parsley
- olive oil
You’ll need a decent size non-stick pan to cook this in. (see pic).
First, take the chicken breast and cut into cubes, slice the sausage into pieces. Add some olive oil into the pan and toss the chicken and sausage in on medium heat. Add a little bit of salt and some pepper. Cover the meat and stir it every few minutes until it’s cooked through.
While the meat is stirring chop up the onion, garlic, peppers and any other veggies you’d like to add to the dish. Don’t worry about chopping them too thin or too thick, just do what you like. I chop them smaller as I think it comes out better that way.
When the meat is done, transfer it to a plate using a slotted spoon. Make sure to keep in the oil/meat mixture to cook up the veggies. After you take out the meat, toss in the veggies for about 5 minutes and let them cook up. Toss as needed.
Once the veggies are done, add back in the meat. Now, add in both boxes of rice and add in the entire 48oz of chicken broth to cover the entire dish. Make sure the heat is on medium. If you only have white rice and can get your hands on some colorante, it’s awesome. It’s used to give paella it’s color, nothing more. I was lucky my friend Paco brought some back for me when he went home last year.
Cover the pan and leave cooking for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The broth will cook the rice. You’ll notice it’s getting close to being done when the broth is almost cooked away. Once the rice is soft, take off the heat and uncover for five minutes.
Fresh bread SHOULD be had with this meal. Proper eating etiquette is to rip off a piece of bread, spoon some paella onto the bread and eat. Also you can use the bread as a backstop while you are spooning up the goodness.
Bio: Ryan Knapp is Manager of Digital for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, the largest soccer coaches’ organization in the world with over 30,000 members worldwide. When he is not immersed in the digital world, Ryan is out running on local roads or trails training for marathons and ultra-marathons, in the kitchen cooking his famous Paella, reading on his Kindle or being a father to his three-year-old Shetland Sheepdog, Ella.
All photos from Ryan