Time 60-90 minutes
Paella gets its name for the pan that it is prepared in, the paellera. The original paella was a poor man’s fare, which is why it is made with a little of everything a person may have on hand in the kitchen. This recipe is for the traditional Paella Valenciana, which is where the dish was first created. Today, many different varieties of paella are enjoyed in Spain, for example, Paella Andalucía is cooked using more seafood such as shrimp, muscles, clams, and other meats.Paella
- 500g (1 lb.) chicken.
- 500g (1 lb.) rabbit.
- 480g (1 lb.) medium grain rice.
- 350g (3/4 lb.) paella vegetables (big haricot beans “garrofó”, small haricot beans “tavella”, green beans “bajoqueta (de ferraura)”/”judías verdes”, red peppers and green peppers optional).
- 24 snails (optional).
- 120g (1/4 lb.) tomatoes.
- 1.5 L (4 cups) of water.
- Olive oil, salt, paprika (“pebre roig”/”pimentón dulce”), saffron, rosemary.
Clean the snails, chicken and rabbit thoroughly. Cut the chicken and the rabbit in small pieces and put salt on them generously. Pour olive oil in a paella pan and, when hot, quickly stir-fry the chicken and the rabbit pieces. When they have browned, add the tomato and stir-fry until well cooked, then add the vegetables and stir-fry til they reduce. Add a pinch of paprika and stir-fry for one or two minutes.
Soon before the paprika gets burnt, pour the water into the paella (you might find it best to pre-boil the water first). Add saffron and salt to taste. (If you’ve never used saffron before, start with a pinch, about 10 threads.) Add the snails if you are using them. Bring everything to a rolling boil and let it bubble for about 10 minutes. Correct for the evaporation of the water by adding a little extra water as needed.
Add the rice and stir. Spread the rice over the pan (it should be less than 1 cm thick) and let it simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes, and then reduce the heat to low and let simmer gently for a further 10 minutes. When the rice is almost dry, remove pan from the heat, place some small branches of rosemary over the rising rice, and let the rice absorb the remaining liquid. Cover with cloth or sheets of newspaper for about 10 minutes. Once the rice is dry the paella is ready to be served.
Some lemon juice may be poured over the paella. The magic words “bon profit” must be said. Paella dish is usually eaten on the very paella with a spoon, made of wood if possible. As a local rule says, no bread must be eaten if the paella is to be finished.
Rice is the most important ingredient in paella. The other ingredients are there to give the rice flavor; add enough to complement it but not so much that they overpower the rice. That said, paella lends itself well to experimentation. Use whatever fresh ingredients are available to you.
The soul of this dish is the saffron. Sold in threads, it is not cheap, but a little goes a long way. Lightly toast the rice in olive oil before adding the chicken stock flavored with the saffron. Add some chicken, chorizo sausage, or pork, in bite-sized pieces. Crab claws, mussels, scallops, and shrimp to provide flavor of the sea. Green peas and pimento peppers added for the color. Fits wonderfully with concept of Cooking for Sport once you get the basics.
Valencian Paella Recipe