Recipe • Saffron rice (paella inspired)

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…for those who are immediately going to shout that this has nothing to do with true paella, yes, I am very well aware of that. This recipe is just *inspired* from the classical paella dish. It requires very few and simple ingredients, but at the same time it has the characteristic taste of saffron and it lets the rice slowly absorb the surrounding fluids and prepare itself.

Fast, easy and enough for 2-3 people. 

It takes approximately 1 hour since the very beginning, to get ready.

Let’s start!


2 chicken breasts

1 big onion

1/2 green bell pepper and 1/2 red (or orange/yellow) bell pepper

1 cup glutinous rice



garlic powder



extra virgin olive oil

Notes: You will need a non-stick pan. The rice should be glutinous: short grain with high amylose content. The point is to get sticky and creamy while it’s boiled. You can use risotto rice/Arborio rice or something similar. Add salt/pepper/garlic powder/curry and saffron according to your own taste. Taste it every now and then and gradually increase the quantity, if needed. Don’t add too much curry – we want the main aroma and taste to come from the saffron.


  1. Cut the onion, as well as the bell peppers and let them aside. Personally, I prefer them in pieces of medium thickness.
  2. Warm up the olive oil over medium high heat and stir in the chicken, adding a little salt and pepper. When it’s almost completely cooked, take it out on a plate.
  3. Add a little oil in the non-stick pan, if it’s needed, and add the onion and bell peppers.
  4. When they are almost cooked, add in the rice (directly, without adding any water). Mix it with the vegetables, for around 1 minute, but stir it continuously.
  5. Add water. I suggest you begin with 2 cups of water (double the rice cup we are using), and afterwards you can add more water if it is needed.
  6. Immediately, return the chicken in the pan and add the salt and spices. Be careful! The taste is going to change as the food is getting cooked. If you are not sure, add just a little bit of salt and spices for taste, and when the food is almost ready, you can add more, according to your taste.
  7. Put the lid on the pan, turn the heat down (medium low, or even low if you have the time) and let the food prepare itself. After 10 minutes give it a stir, but stop stirring it afterwards.
  8. We want the rice on the bottom of the pan to “burn” and stick a little. When most of the water has been absorbed, take the lid off, reduce heat to low if it wasn’t already and “listen” to your dish. When the bottom starts burning, remove the pan from the heat and let it cool down for 5 minutes before serving.
  9. When you remove the pan from the heat, add a little extra virgin olive oil on top, for some raw, intense taste.

Super easy, super tasty!

-Enjoy! xoxo

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