How to Make Paella Valenciana

Paella is a Spanish dish that originated in Valencia in the mid 19th century. Farmhands would make a fire in the fields during lunch hour and cook rice along with any other edible ingredients they could find. As a result, paella consists of many ingredients including rice, vegetables, meat, beans, and a lot of seasoning.


Paella is considered Spain’s national dish, and is now also a universal dish with the hundreds of variations of the dish existing today. Authentic paella is made in a large paella pan and cooked over firewood.

Ingredients

  • 8 spoonfuls of virgin olive oil
  • Salt (approx. 4 teaspoons)
  • ~1 lb (500 g) chicken
  • ~1 lb (500 g) rabbit chopped into manageable chunks
  • 1/2 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 lb (125 g) flat green beans (Ferraura)
  • 1/4 lb (125 g) white beans (Tabella), soaked overnight if dried
  • 1/4 lb (125 g) special beans (Garotó), soaked overnight if dried
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 spoonful of ground sweet paprika
  • 1 ripe tomato, grated
  • 2 quarts (~2 l) water, approx.
  • Healthy pinch of saffron
  • 24 boiled snails (optional
  • 14 ounces (400 g) rice.
  • Fresh rosemary

Steps

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    Measure out 10 cups of water into a pot add the dried beans to soak overnight. Only do this if the beans are dried. If they are precooked, there's no need to soak them first.
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    Add the olive oil and almost all of the salt to a 15 inch (40 cm) paella tin, turning on heat to medium. Wait for olive oil to get hot, but not smoking.
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    Slowly brown the chicken and rabbit, cut into small pieces, in the pan. Get a nice, even brown all over. Place pieces of meat that are more brown to the side of the pan so that they don't burn while the other pieces of meat are browning.
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    When the meat is browned, add the green pepper, frying in the center of the pan for one minute.
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    Add the green and white beans and fry in the center of the pan for 5 minutes.
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    Add the garlic, then the paprika, in short succession.
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    Before the garlic starts to burn, add the grated tomato to the center of the pan. Fry until most of the water from the tomato has incorporated into the rest of the dish.
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    Pour in the water, letting stand for 10 minutes.
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    Add the snails (optional), saffron, and remaining salt.
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    Stir the ingredients, if necessary, preparing them for the rice. Once the dish is ready to receive the rice, it shouldn't be stirred, so if you want to rearrange the paella tin, now is the time to do it.
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    Turn the heat to high and spread out the rice evenly into the paella tin.
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    After adding the rice, cook paella on high for 8 minutes.
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    After 8 minutes, gradually reduce the temperature until it turns off after about 10 minutes.[1] This gives the rice a total cooking time of 18 minutes.
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    Let the paella stand for 4 to 5 minutes before serving. Once ready to serve, add a sprig of rosemary to the top of the dish.
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    Finished.

Tips

  • Paella takes a long time to make; jamming to some indie music or reggae can help make the time fly by.
  • Like many other Spanish dishes, paella should be shared among friends and family.
  • Paella goes great with a glass or three of sangria, a drink consisting of wine and fruit. If you cannot buy or make sangria, you can stick to Pinot Grigio wines that are light enough to complement the heavily flavored paella.
  • Some of the ingredients are optional, as there are many variations to this dish. Experiment by adding or removing ingredients to suit your taste.

Things You'll Need

  • Large paella pan with a lid
  • Fire pit (or any place with an open flame)
  • Large spoon for stirring and mixing

Article Info

Categories: Portuguese and Spanish Cuisine | Rice and Beans