Growing up on the border of Mexico, we practically lived on a variety of rice and bean dishes; sometimes stewed, sometimes fried, but always served with a blend of flavors that made you know exactly where you were.
I can say the same thing about that first bite of Valencia paella I had so many years ago; It has this unmistakable aroma that makes the rice irresistible, especially when served with a blend of seasonal vegetables regardless of what time of year you eat it. Since moving to Texas, I've re-stocked my spice rack with the spices of my childhood. Each time I open the pantry, I see them intertwined with those that I learned to love while living in Spain, wondering how I can bring them together to create a worthy recipe.
This Texas Paella recipe is very mild. It blends that earthy, slightly sweet tang of the saffron with the nutty flavors of beans that balance so well with the heat of the chilies. The fresh garlic and the smoke of the paprika give the rice a bold flavor that brings everything together into one Texas-Spanish bite, which could easily be my new favorite family meal.
Don't let the start of the recipe, nor the ingredients scare you. There really is only about 5 minutes of prep time, 10 minutes of hands on cooking before the dish pretty much cooks itself. Plus, using the Texmati Rice means that there is no need to rinse or soak your rice beforehand. Having one less step, and a few less dishes to do, means that I can whip this up mid week in around 30 minutes from start to finish and only dirty a few dishes along the way.
Texas paella recipe
- 2 cups of RiceSelect® Texmati White Rice
- 3-1/2 cups of chicken stock
- 1/3 cup of canned diced green chilies, strained and rinsed.
- 1 pound of skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into inch cubes
- 1-1/2 cups of pancetta, diced
- 1/4 teaspoon of saffron
- 1/4 cup of warm water
- 1/2 cup of cooked pinto beans (if canned, washed and drained)
- 1/2 cup of cooked butter beans (if canned, washed and drained)
- 1 cup of sliced red peppers
- 1 cup of sliced green peppers
- 1 cup of sliced Spanish onions
- 1/2 cup of canned chopped tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sprig of cilantro for garnish
- Add the saffron to a 1/4 cup of warm water and allow it to stew while you cook.
- In a 13 x 15-inch pan, drizzle a small amount of olive oil and heat before adding the chicken and Pancetta. Allow to cook on medium high heat for 5 minutes, or until the chicken starts to brown and the pancetta deepens in color.
- Add the paprika, onions, peppers and garlic to the pan, stir until well combined before continuing to cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the reserved saffron mixture, the tomatoes, and the broth and stir, bringing the ingredients to a boil on high heat before adding the rice, beans and chilies.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir the pot well to ensure that the rice is fully saturated and evenly distributed, and then cook on high heat with the lid off for 10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat, give it a few gentle stirs, and then cook it on low heat with the lid on for a further 5 to 10 minutes, or until the rice is fully cooked and the liquid is gone.
- Remove it from the heat and allow it to rest for 2 to 3 minutes longer before serving with fresh cilantro on top.
Notes: When we are serving to those with a passion for spicy food, we use fresh jalapeños rather than canned green chilies; and if you have a tiny bit of white wine left over for cooking, you can always swap out the 1/4 cup of water for wine to stew the saffron in as it gives is a great added flavor to the dish.
This post is part of a sponsored collaboration between RiceSelect® and SheKnows