Valencian Paella

In our series of mediterranean recipes in accordance with the mediterranean diet we recommend trying the classic Paella recipe: a delicious traditional and iconic recipe from Valencia, considered internationally as Spain’s national dish.

Contrary to popular belief, the traditional Paella isn’t made with seafood but meat. Paella Valenciana, is considered to be the original Paella.
Originally, paella made in Valencia was a lunchtime meal for farmers and farm laborers. Workers would gather what was available to them around the rice fields. This often included tomatoes, onions, and snails. Rabbit or duck was a common addition, or sometimes chicken.

 

Prep Time Cook Time
15 mins   45 mins
 

Servings: 10 people

Ingredients

    • 1kg. of absorbing rice (Moli de Pais rice recommended)
    • 2 kg. chicken
    • 1 kg. rabbit
    • 300 gr. tomato
    • 500 g. green beans
    • 250 g. “garrofó” (a variety of white beans with large grains used for  Valencian paella)
    • Saffron
    • 6 gr. paprika
    • 3.5 liter water.
    • Salt ( Añana Mineral Salt recommended)
    • 3 dl. 100% Arbequina Olive Oil

Optional

  • garlic
  • sprig of rosemary 
  • 100 g. peppers
  • 2 dozen snails 

Instructions

Chop the chicken and rabbit meat into pieces.

Heat the oil in the paella pan, and when very hot, add the chicken and the rabbit.

Sauté the meat until it is lightly browned and remove from the pan.

Add the peeled, de-seeded and chopped tomato and fry over gentle heat during 7-8 minutes, together with the pieces of pepper.

When the previous mixture is cooked, add a pinch of salt, the meat back and the paprika frying the whole mix, taking care not to burn it. 

Add water to cover the mixture and leave to simmer. The cooking time will depend on the consistency of the meat.

For free-range poultry and rabbit, estimate between  30 and 35 minutes. Ten minutes before the end of the estimated cooking time (30-35 min.) for the meat, add the beans and the “garrofó”; which will ensure they are not overcooked.

This is the time to add the snails, previously purged. At the end of cooking time for the mentioned ingredients, add more hot water and allow boiling to continue during 3 or 4 additional minutes.

Add the saffron strands and the sprig of rosemary, adjust the seasoning and simmer for another five minutes.

Then add the rice evenly to the pan and leave to cook for 5 or 6 minutes over high heat; letting liquid reduce itself a little, checking for the consistency of the rice (add more minutes of cooking if the rice is still too hard for your taste).  However, always turn off the fire,  making sure the rice is still “al dente” (somewhat hard but not too hard). 

At that point remove the pan from the heat leaving it to rest  for a few minutes until the remaining stock is absorbed by the rice (since it will continue cooking itself).  

Other paella options are the seafood paella and the mixed paella, which may be prepared with ingredients such as mussels, shrimps, prawns, Dublin Bay prawns and squid (instead of or together with some of the meat ingredients)

 

Serve in the same paella pan after leaving to rest for five to six minutes.