There are three widely known types of paella: Valencian paella, seafood paella and mixed paella, but there are many others as well. Valencian paella consists of white rice, green vegetables, meat (rabbit, chicken, duck, land snails), beans and seasoning. Seafood paella replaces land animals with seafood and omits beans and green vegetables. Mixed paella is a free-style combination of land animals, seafood, vegetables, and sometimes beans. Most paella chefs use calasparra or bomba rices for this dish. Other key ingredients include saffron and olive oil.
Here is Lorena´s recipe for the perfect Traditional Valenciana Paella.
Ingredients (for 6-8 people):
- 1 – 1.5 kg. rice (better the “Bomba” rice, “La Fallera” for instance)
- 1 kg. chicken
- 1 kg. rabbit
- 300 gr. chopped tomato
- 500 g. green beans
- 250 g. garrofón (a variety of white bean used for making the typical Valencian paella, in the supermarkets you can find frozen bags with the green beans and the garrofón together, ready to be used for cooking. If this was the case, you would need two bags of this)
- 100 g. artichoke (or 4-5 units, all of them cut to the length – you should get 4 or 6 pieces cut to the length from each artichoke)
- 2 dozen snails (optional)
- 3-4 dl. olive oil (better if virgin olive oil)
- 1/2 tsp of saffron (or a few strands)
- 1/4 tsp of smoked Spanish paprika (“Pimentón de la Vera”)
- sprig of rosemary
- Foodstuff colour (orange colour)
- 1 garlic clove (chopped)
- Water (the necessary, nearly up to the edge of the paella)
- Lemon wedges for garnish
Heat the oil in the paella pan, and when hot, add the artichoke, a bit of salt and fry until golden brown and remove from the paella.
Add a little bit of olive oil and add the chicken and the rabbit cut into pieces. Sauté the meat until it is lightly browned.
Add the green beans and the garrofón in the middle of the paella and fry over gentle heat.
When this mixture is cooked, add a pinch of salt, the chopped tomato, the chopped garlic and the smoked paprika. Cook for some minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Once cooked, it is time now to add the water to our paella!
As a reference point, it will be twice as much water as the rice, in this case you should pour the water until nearly up to the edge of the paella (with the time, the experience will be our best ally!)
After pouring the water, we then add the saffron strands and the foodstuff colour, taste and add salt as necessary, and leave to simmer for about 20 minutes.
If water level falls, add more water to the edge of the paella again and leave for another 5 minutes. Increase the heat to the maximum and then add the rice evenly to the pan.
Add the snails (optional, and previously purged) and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes over strong heat. After this, then another 5 minutes over medium-low heat to then continue cooking for another 8-10 minutes over low heat.
At the end of the cooking time, if the rice is not much soft, then remove from the heat, splash some water with the hand, cover the pan/paella with aluminium foil and allow to stand for a few minutes (between 5-7 minutes)
After this time and the rice softer, add lemon wedges around the pan and enjoy your “Paella Valenciana”!
Now what you waiting for? Open the Red wine (remember to drink in moderation!) Invite your friends and enjoy the tradition of many Valencian family´s cooking Paella!
P.S. Don´t forgrt to tell them where you got the recipe from!