Paella may seem like a complicated affair but it's surprisingly simple to make and perfect for entertaining. The options are endless as ingredients go, but I love the classic chicken and chorizo with a medley of shellfish.
Using a proper paella pan, like the new one from Le Creuset, is the key to success. The trick is to resist the urge to stir the rice. Paella cooks from the bottom up and part of the secret is to let it sit and soak up all the flavors, then mix in the rich crunchy bits you've scraped off from the bottom of the pan. As for the recipe itself, here are some tips I've picked up from great friends and chefs over the years:
Start by sautéing the vegetables in a little bit of olive oil. I like sliced onions, chopped celery, garlic, and tomatoes. Brown the meat in the same pan to lock in moisture then cover with chicken stock and season with grated parsley, a generous pinch of saffron, smoked paprika, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Once that's bubbling, add the rice and squeeze in some fresh lemon juice. Seafood cooks quite fast so add that last, along witha handful of frozen peas. It's really as simple as that!
Serve alongside an oversized wooden bowl full of mixed greens. I like gazpacho as a simple starter and assorted fruit sorbets makes the perfect dessert. And of course, top it all off with a pitcher of sangria!