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Garlic, onion, red bell pepper. Best cooking fat is rendered uncooked chorizo, olive oil induced with garlic and anato seed to enhance the yellow color
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I'm a purist here, so no anato seed for me. But yes, olive oil, garlic, onion and in my preference piquillo peppers (which are red). For the chorizo find a good semi-cured one. If you must, substitute linguica. Paella get's color from saffron, not to mention its unique flavor. I add the saffron to the stock before pouring it into the rice.
I do olive oil, garlic, and onion only (no peppers). I also use a cured chorizo and render it first so that I can saute the sofrito in the rendered fat (which will also turn it a nice redish color). If I'm warming the stock/wine I'm using similar to a risotto, I'll steep the saffron in it like tea. Keep in mind though, there are hundreds of variations on paella from different regions in Spain, so do what you like!
The big difference between paella and risotto is that for paella you don't stir. That's how you build up that soccorat at the bottom.
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