I've loved paella since I first had it when I did an exchange program in Spain in high school. It's delicious! It's also pretty easy to make at home. Traditional Paella Valenciana has so many variations, mainly because it's a dish that was originally created to use up leftovers. Here's an easy paella recipe that can be changed or adapted according to what you have at home.
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 C. white rice
4 C. chicken stock
2 pinches saffron (DO NOT omit, even though it's spendy!)
Brown the rice in the olive oil. Add chicken stock and saffron, cover. Simmer until liquid is absorbed.
Paella Savory Additions:
1-2 celery stalks
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced or sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 C. frozen peas
1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained
Saute the savory additions in a little bit of olive oil. Add rice in. Add frozen peas and tomatoes at the end. NOTE: You can use whatever combination of the above ingredients that you have at home. Aim for using at least 4 out of the 6 items mentioned above. The version I made last night didn't have peas, but I had a green pepper so I used that for color. You could also use a red pepper instead of the tomatoes for the red color.
Paella Meat Additions:
1 chicken breast, cooked and sliced or cubed (perfect for using up chicken leftovers)
1/2 lb. mussels, steamed and liquid reserved (steam in a little white wine if you have it, otherwise use water)
Smoked sausage, sliced into 1" pieces
Again, since paella is a dish that uses up leftovers or relies on what you already have at home, aim for using 3 out of the 5 items mentioned above. Add the meat to the savory rice and cook until heated through.