If you don't have a paella pan, use a 4cm-deep, medium-weight non-stick frying pan. It should be shallow and wide to allow moisture to evaporate quickly, and the base shouldn't be too thick. If it's too thick, the pan will retain too much heat and the food may overcook.
2. Feel the heat
Use a large hotplate or gas burner for even cooking. When it comes to cooking paella, gas or induction cooktops are usually better as they provide more even heat distribution.
3. Leave it be
In terms of the basic ingredients, paella is similar to a risotto. The main difference is paella doesn't require constant stirring. In fact, it's important not to stir it once the stock is added to ensure the delicious, light-golden crust, known as socarrat, forms on the base.
4. Take a turn
If the paella is cooking more on one side than the other, rotate the pan. This might be necessary when using an electric cooktop or if the element or burner is too small, in which case you may need to cook over two elements.
5. First base
The flavour base of the paella, sofrito is traditionally a mixture of onion, garlic and tomato. Make sure it's well cooked to give the paella a rich flavour.
6. Flavour boost
Chorizo is a classic addition to any paella. So, even if the recipe doesn't call for it, use it to give your rice colour and flavour early on, and add depth to the finished dish. Cook thinly sliced chorizo in oil in the pan, then use the oil to cook your sofrito.
7. Oil up
Paellas need to be cooked with a good amount of oil. The…