At last, a paella recipe that fits in a frugal foodie budget! Paella is the national dish of Spain, Valencia to be precise, where for a long time, rabbit and duck were simmered with rice over a wood fire made from orange tree branches. These days, and the closer to the coast you roam, the trend is towards seafood or a mix of seafood and meat. Our version uses shrimp, chorizo sausage, and chicken, but paella is highly adaptable—variations abound. Costly saffron is the traditional spice of choice, but we found that pimentón ahumado, or smoked paprika, really provides the authentic punch and characteristic red blush of the dish, at a fraction of the cost of saffron.
In this recipe, if you wish for seafood to predominate, for example, just make adjustments keeping the basic proportions in place and you will be off on a culinary experience that delivers you far from your own coast.