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Dutch Oven Paella Recipe

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I have to make a shameful confession. In a lifetime of cooking I have never been able to make a decent paella :( The rice always comes out a little too al dente, no matter now long I cook it on the stovetop. This recipe looks like it has the potential to be a little too jambalaya-ish, but desperate cooks call for desperate measures.

What's the difference between jambalaya and paella?

Obvious difference is the ingredients with the andallouille sausage and the file powder - but I think you're asking about the texture - the unique liquid-slimey texture of jambalaya comes from the okra which adds the thickener to the dish.

Jambalaya - reasonably dry, but still with a wet texture from the okra

Paella on the other hand achieves it's degree of wetness from the quantity of liquid that the rice is cooked in. In Spain there are three grades of rice dish, Paella, Arroz Meloso and Arroz Caldoso.

Paella - which is actually quite

Arroz Meloso - which is wetter like a risottoblog.salylaurel.esArroz Caldoso - which is actually quite soupy

Paella tips:

When you make the paella, you're not meant to stir it at all once you put the rice and stock in, just shake it a lot and do not cover the pan ever. I keep the rice well immersed in stock, topping it up regularly and then shaking the pan to make sure that the rice is always submerged. By the time those top grains are cooked, the grains on the bottom will have formed a crust. Long slow cooking too - maybe 90 mins once the rice and stock are in for a medium to large sized pan. Reason for outside cooking on a special wide burner is also the burners on a normal stove do not cover the full bottom of the pan - hence the feeling that it needs to be stirred, far better to move the pan around the source of the heat.

Thank you for the thoughtful explanation and tips. 

I was thinking the difference was texture and ingredients and you've shown me the way. 

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