Paella is a stunning dish, and it’s more versatile than you might think.
In Spain, home cooks make family-size paellas outside over a live fire and fill them with whatever regional ingredients are easily accessible. (They also make them in dinner plate-size paella pans in their small apartment kitchens, too.)
When living there for a year in college, I had all kinds of paellas in all kinds of settings: With chicken and red peppers around my host mom’s cramped kitchen table. With fideo and clams at a seaside restaurant. I even had one with rabbit with butter beans cooked over a smoky fire.
Every home cook had his or her own tricks for getting the rice to cook through while also forming that crispy crust on the bottom without burning. I’m still honing my own paella skills, and I love an excuse to work on them.
Earlier this month, I