Mmm, we love a good Paella!
If paella isn’t quite your thing, you’ll need to keep on scrolling here! What follows is dedicated to the famous Spanish paella dish – with ingredients that vary as much across regions as pizza does in Italy. So, just in time for 27 March, the annual “Spanish Paella Day”, here is an original recipe for a traditional Paella Valenciana, the mother of all paellas! One more thing: if you’re going to have a go at a paella, then please stick to lunchtime! Only tourists eat this world-famous Spanish dish in the evening.
Recipe for Paella Valenciana
Ingredients for 6 people:
A flat, round paella pan (the most traditional method is to cook the paella in a pan over an open fire)
600 g bomba rice (arròs bomba, a short-grain variety of rice that retains its texture and is traditionally used in paella and other dishes. Alternatively you can use long-grain rice)
300 g fresh chicken
200 g fresh rabbit (or pork if you don’t like rabbit)
250 g mix of flat green Valencian beans and plump garrofó beans
1 can peeled tomatoes
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1/3 tbsp saffron (or 1 tbsp food colouring)
20 snails (alternatively you can use a little pork instead of snails)
1 – 2 litres water (or a strong chicken stock)
Virgin olive oil (natural, high-quality olive oil)
Wash the vegetables. Cut the chicken and rabbit/pork into equally sized chunks. Meanwhile, heat up the olive oil in the paella pan, and then brown the meat over a low heat.
Add the vegetables as the meat continues to sizzle away. Stir all of the ingredients thoroughly whilst cooking so that nothing burns, and leave to simmer. Add the tomatoes and paprika powder.
Then add the bomba rice, which you have previously cooked in water (or ideally chicken stock), to the paella pan – traditionally you pour the rice into the pan in a cross shape – and distribute it evenly through the other ingredients. The rice should be covered by liquid – if not, add some more; do not stir the mixture again! Once the vegetables are soft, mix in the saffron to give your paella that typical yellow colour, and finally add the snails.
The paella is ready once the rice is cooked but al dente and the water has evaporated. If you like a crust on the bottom of the pan, leave the paella to cook some more until the bottom layer of rice begins to “set”. Serve with a good Spanish wine!