Colombian Paella

"Well it was given to me from a colombian who says it was in her family for a long time and made me promise not to pass it around, but she doesn't know about the internet, muhahaha. Besides, troy made me do it."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
3hrs 40mins




  • If you're lazy like I am and you use canned beans, just rinse them and set them aside to drain.
  • In a separate pan, bring the chicken stock to just barely simmering. Add the saffron and keep it heated (or use a microwave for about 6 minutes on high before you have to add it, below)
  • Using 1/4 cup olive oil, cook the chicken over medium heat until browned on all sides. (Use a large shallow pan. I use a 13" diameter cast iron skillet)
  • Remove the chicken to a bowl full of paper towels to drain and drain the oil in the pan (if you want, reserve 1 Tbsp from that instead of using the additional Tbsp, I haven't noticed a real difference).
  • In 1 Tbsp oil, cook the onions, garlic, and tomato over the lowest heat possible for about 30 minutes, stirring almost constantly (do not let any of these brown).
  • Return the chicken to the pan and stir until well mixed.
  • Add about 4 cups chicken stock and 1/2 cup of the wine.
  • Simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Add everything but the rice.
  • Stir to blend and try to keep the clams on the bottom.
  • NOW add all the rice and stir to distribute it evenly, still trying to keep the clams all the way submerged.
  • Cook over high-ish heat (enough for a vigorous simmer but not exactly a boil) for about 1/2 hr, or until the rice is done.
  • If the rice isn't done and all the liquid is absorbed, add 1/2 cup stock with a splash of wine at a time but don't turn it into a soup.
  • There is a temptation to dig a spoon under the dish and check the rice.
  • Don't do it.
  • Resist it, have a beer instead.
  • Just make sure there's a little liquid left when the rice is done (you can do that by tilting the pan), and you should end up with a golden brown crust on the bottom which is actually what you SHOULD have (if you don't, don't worry I won't tell).
  • Let the pan sit for about 10-15 minutes to finish absorbing the liquid and getting all the cooking out of its system.
  • Throw away any clams that didn't open, arrange the rest on top.
  • Smile, you've just made paella!

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When I was 19, I remember one day looking at a box of good ol' macaroni and cheese and I had a nerve wracking time making it, holding the box like it was a talisman, consulting it every 30 seconds. That was the same day I'd vowed I would learn to cook. Honestly, I didn't expect I'd enjoy it so much, and I try to learn as many different disciplines as I can on my own. While you will almost never see a bread or cake recipe from me (I can't seem to do them right), I hope my meager offerings please the palate...and more importantly, the stomach! Bueno Apetito!
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