I spent a four months studying abroad in Seville, Spain (Sevilla as the Spaniards would say) during spring semester 2009. I still think nostalgically about that beautiful city, filled with art and historical sites almost around every corner. What a special opportunity it was to spend that time there, immersed in a culture so different from my own.
Sevilla was definitely a pedestrian city, and we walked just about everywhere. One Saturday, my roommate and I decided to wander around to some local shops and try a Spanish restaurant. Our meal of choice was the famous Spanish dish of paella, a sauteed mix of rice, vegetables, spices and meat or seafood. It was delicious and one of my favorite foods in Spain.
I was so excited when I found a recipe for paella in my Taste of Home cookbook. This recipe takes some time to assemble, but it's fairly straightforward and is well worth the effort. The original recipe was too big for just my husband and me, so the recipe below is my modified, halved version. It makes about 5-6 servings.
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1-1/4 cups uncooked long grain rice
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1-2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 green pepper
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium tomato, chopped (or equivalent in canned tomatoes)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 to 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
In a large saucepan, combine the broth, rice, onion, half of the garlic, salt, turmeric, pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender.
Meanwhile, in large skillet, saute the green pepper, green onions, parsley, thyme, hot pepper sauce and remaining garlic in oil for 2 minutes. Cook until green pepper is crisp-tender. Add tomatoes and peas; heat through. Discard bay leaf from rice mixture. Stir rice into vegetable mixture and keep warm.
In a large nonstick skillet, cook chicken in lemon juice. I also added a little olive oil. (The recipe also called for shrimp, which I left out because it is not necessary and I don't usually have it on hand. However, you can add it if desired.)
Once cooked, add meat to rice and vegetable mixture.
We served the paella with some garlic green beans on the side. Yum!