Paella is a popular Spanish dish that’s made with rice and fresh seafood. It’s not cooked just anywhere and that’s because it requires some skill. There are rules that chefs follow in order to create the perfect paella – and we follow them every time we make the dish.

A Paella Pan is a Must

There are special paella pans and it absolutely has to be used. Otherwise, the pan might be too deep or not wide enough. This leads to making it hard to cook everything properly. These pans are available in many cooking appliance stores, so if it’s something that a chef makes a lot, it should be found somewhere in the kitchen.

Cook with Gas When Possible

Heat distribution is critical, so we use gas whenever possible. Otherwise, an induction stove can be used. If there absolutely isn’t a proper stove where the heat is being distributed evenly, then the pan itself needs to get a half turn every so often, which can be a time consuming task to remember.

Don’t Stir

One of the worst things you can do to a paella is to stir it too often. If you do this, the crust might not form properly. The second worst thing you can do to a paella is to serve it with the wrong wine.

Create a Good Sofrito

A sofrito is a critical component to paella because of the base of flavors. It’s made with onions, tomato, and garlic. When we offer our personal chef service, New Jersey residents love paella, and this is a component we always bring with us.

Add Chorizo

Whether the recipe calls for it or not, add in a bit of chorizo. The spicy sausage adds an extra layer of flavor and helps to add color to the rice.

Balance the Oil

There’s quite a bit of oil used within paella. The secret is to find the right balance so that there’s not too much or too little.

Ladle in the Stock

Towards the very end, chicken stock should be ladled in. This ensures that the rice is moist but not wet. It also keeps the seafood tasting its best so it doesn’t dry out before it reaches the table.

Grab the Socarrat

When dining out in a restaurant and ordering paella, one of the most disappointing parts is when they don’t serve it in the pan or fail to provide the socarrat. This is the crust that forms at the bottom of the pan – and many people fight for it because of how good it tastes!

When these rules are followed, you can guarantee the paella is going to be out of this world. It’s something we teach within our private cooking classes that NJ couples can benefit from, too!

"Creating Culinary Magic"

- Chef John Deatcher

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