Paella is a tasty and filling Spanish favourite that is ideal for a camping meal. Here is our authentic Spanish easy paella recipe with chicken and chorizo. This serves four to six people and takes around 25 minutes from start to finish.
When you’re away from home camping or touring you want to make mealtimes as easy as possible.
Paella is quick and easy to make and absolutely delicious. We find this much more satisfying a meal than say hot dogs and it offers more nutrition too.
- What ingredients are in Paella?
- How to make paella from scratch
- How to serve paella
- Paella – your questions answered
What ingredients are in Paella?
- 400g paella rice
- 150g marinated red peppers – jar ones are easiest for camping
- 1l hot chicken stock or vegetable stock – we use 2x Knorr chicken stock pots
- Pinch of saffron
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 large onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 400g tinned tomatoes
- 3tbsps olive oil
- 100g peas
- 3/4 large chicken breasts (depending on how hungry you are)
- 200g chorizo
- 25ml sherry vinegar or wine
- Chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Lemon quarters to garnish
This recipe states that it serves four, however, we usually serve six with this without it being stingy on portion size.
How to make paella from scratch
You might be camping but that doesn’t mean you can’t rustle up something just as delicious as you would if you were cooking at home. Here’s how to make homemade paella from the comfort of your campervan kitchen.
Here’s how to make the perfect paella:
- Paella pan or frying pan
- Chopping board
- Sharp knife
- Tin opener
- Pan for peas
- Spare large bowl to hold the chicken and chorizo
First, prep the ingredients so you have everything to hand:
- Cut the chicken into 1cm chunks
- Cut the chorizo into 1cm chunks
- Dice the onion
- Slice the garlic
- Measure out spices
- Make 1l chicken stock and have it ready to go
- Pre-cook the frozen peas and have ready to stir in at the end
- Open the tin of chopped tomatoes
- Open jar of roasted peppers
- Cut lemon into wedges
- Open bottle of white wine or sherry (if using)
Now you have everything ready and to hand it’s time to start cooking.
Heat up 1tbsp of oil in your paella or frying pan. Once the oil is hot cook both the chicken and chorizo until both are cooked through.
Set them aside in a separate bowl to add back to the paella later.
In the now-empty frying pan or paella pan heat another 1 tbsp of oil and wait until it is hot, then place the onions and garlic to cook. Once they have sweated nicely and have turned golden it’s time to add the tinned chopped tomatoes.
Empty the can of tomatoes into the pan and stir. Allow this to cook for a couple of minutes, then stir in the smoked paprika. After a couple more minutes add the paella rice and stir in thoroughly.
Once the rice is evenly coated with the tomato mix, it’s time to add the stock, wine or sherry (if using) and pinch of saffron. Bring the paella to the boil and then leave on a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally.
This step usually takes around 20 minutes
I find it best to periodically stir the paella as it does start to stick to the pan as the moisture is absorbed. I believe the advice is not to stir, but to shake – like a James Bond martini but we have never found stirring to have a detrimental effect. Our pan maybe isn’t very non-stick?
Once there is little liquid left in the pan and the rice is cooked, it’s time to add back the chicken and chorizo mix.
Cook all together on a low heat for another 5-8 minutes.
The last step is to add the peppers and peas. Stir these in and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Turn the heat off and cover with a tea towel for 1-2 minutes then serve.
How to serve paella
We find the paella so filling and satisfying that we don’t add a side dish.
For our chicken and chorizo paella, we simply squeeze over a drizzle of lemon and if we have it, a handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley.
It’s best served into bowls, rather than plates as this seems to keep the heat in the paella better.
Paella – your questions answered
Q – Can I reheat paella?
We do! I had heard that it wasn’t safe to reheat rice, however we have never had a problem in the dozen times we have done this. We make sure the leftover paella has been stored in the fridge and then reheat thoroughly making sure the meat is piping hot all the way through.
The rice ends up more sticky than on day one, but we dont mind. The flavour is still 100% delicious.
Q – Can you eat paella cold?
It’s safe enough to eat Paella cold if it has been stored in the fridge but personally, I would prefer to reheat it. It is supposed to be served as a warm dish so eating it cold seems a bit odd IMO.
Q – Can you cook paella in a frying pan?
Again – we do! As we are in a campervan, you can’t have every bit of kit with you unless it is something you use repeatedly. If you would use a paella pan for a number of dishes such as a risotto or a one pan full English, then it is worth purchasing one. If not, a decent sized frying pan will do.
However if you are thinking about buying a paella pan, this one from Cadac comes highly recommended and is on our wish list.
Q – Which rice is best for paella?
We typically use “paella” rice to make our paella. This is readily available to buy in the supermarket. Paella rice is made from Redondo (round) or bomba rice. It has a different composition and starch structure to long grain rice, which makes long grain rice unsuitable for making paella.
Redondo or bomba rice can absorb up to three times its weight in liquid which is why we like to use a good quality stock.The rice will take on the flavours in the liquid part of the dish.
Q – Can you make paella with risotto rice?
Risotto or arborio rice is very similar in structure to paella rice. Both types of rice have a high amylose content. This is the starch that acts as a bonding agent in the pan.
By substituting paella rice for arborio or risotto rice it won’t massively change the dish. If you’re camping and making this in your campervan, you’ll think it’s delicious with either type of rice.
Q – Do you cover paella when cooking?
No, you want all the liquid to either be absorbed by the rice or evaporate away. At the very end of the cooking process I cover it and leave it for a couple of minutes to settle. This keeps the rice warm and keeps in that little bit of moistness.
We don’t have a lid for our campervan frying pan so we make meals that don’t need a lid or if we are keeping something warm, we’ll cover the pan with a melamine plate.
Q – Is paella gluten free?
The uncooked rice product is gluten-free. What makes the dish paella NOT gluten-free is the stock used. Often chicken stock contains gluten. The Knorr stock pots we use are gluten-free though. The other gluten source in paella can be in the chorizo. If you need to make this dish gluten-free, seek out gluten-free chorizo too.
Q – Is paella good for me?
Paella rice is low GI meaning it keeps you fuller for longer. This equates to you not snacking afterwards or turning to dessert and ingesting extra calories.
We estimate our paella to contain around 480 calories per serve.
Q – How much does paella cost to make?
We estimate that our easy paella recipe with chicken and chorizo should cost around £13.00 all in. Not bad! When served between four it makes it £3.25 a portion, or £2.15 when split six ways as we do.
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