Paella is perhaps the best-known dish of Spanish gastronomy internationally. The paella is a dish from Valencia, called “Valencian paella“.
Very often consumed by tourists who come every year to the Spanish beach areas and perhaps thanks to that has become the most known and most widespread dish of Spanish cuisine.
The paella is a rice stew, which is cooked in a very large pan with two handles called “paella“, hence the name of the stew of the container itself. The traditional thing is to consume it directly from the “paella” or container, with forks or spoons, but the social and hygienic standards mean that it is usually served directly to the dish of the one who is going to consume it, being its consumption directly from the paella, reserving that modality when eating as a family.
Paella from Spain
It is rare the Spanish restaurant that does not have Valencian paella in its menu, since not only does it taste outside of Spain, but inside Spain it is very consumed, being a dish that is usually consumed on Sundays in family reunion.
There are restaurants that specialize in rice and only serve this dish, having numerous recipes to each one more tasty and exquisite. Normally in these restaurants you have to call by phone to order it for the number of people who will go to consume it, because its elaboration is expensive and they make it expressly for those who come and consume it freshly made.
How to cook Paella
There are also restaurants that include it as a menu dish, or that you can order perfectly in others a serving of spanish rice to take away. In these places paellas are made larger than normal, to distribute them in rations.
The paella is a curious dish, because it is very easy to prepare but you do not know very well why, very few people do it well. The reason is that there is a widespread custom in the Spanish population that any ingredient can be put into rice dishes. But that makes the taste and the recipe of that dish of rice is no longer spanish rice, and that’s why they often ask a lot of Valencians: how do you make it? I do not have the same as when I eat it there.
Valencians when they see a rice dish that they understand is not paella, they call it “rice with things”, and they get very angry when they see in the tourist places photos of “paellas” with peas, peppers … etc ingredients that the paella never takes.
Do you want cook paella? discover the authentic recipe
We are going to share with you a recipe for Valencian paella, although there is a lot of discussion about how and when to put the rice inside the Valencian chefs. We warn that the authentic Valencian paella is NOT seafood, it is chicken and rabbit with vegetables. Seafood paellas are seafood paellas, but they are not called Valencian paellas, although unfortunately in many places they are incorrectly called paellas.
All you need is a “paella” or large pan. If you do not have this special pan, it can works in any pan, the more you have to use a larger pan. In general, although there are few diners, a large pan is needed because the rice must be low to be really good,
Natural tomato crushed or grated.
Garlic cut into very very small pieces.
Oil, if it is olive, better, if not sunflower.
Pieces of chicken and / or rabbit. You can put only chicken if the rabbit is hard to find or just does not like its taste.
Green beans, artichokes and carob. The garrofó is a type of crushed white bean typical Valencian. Outside of Valencia it is difficult to find it, so if you do not have it, you should not use another bean as a substitute because they do not taste the same and it is better not to put anything.
Water, salt and specific food coloring for paella. No coloring is good.
You start by putting oil in the pan. Fry the chicken, the rabbit, to which we have added salt, if it is going to be put and when they are brown they are reserved in a dish. In the same oil, the vegetables are fried. When they are golden, they are reserved on a plate together with the meat. In the same oil the tomato is fried and when it starts to change the color of natural tomato to fried tomato, the garlic is well chopped. It is left to brown but not to burn if it will not give bad taste to the whole dish.
In that tomato, rice (preferably round rice “bomba”, never long rice or the oriental one) is used. 100 grams of rice per person is used (it is placed in a glass because it is necessary to measure twice as much water as rice) and sauté the rice with the tomato and garlic. In this recipe we do it this way, because we understand that the rice pore opens when frying and then better absorbs the flavor of the broth. But there are many chefs who do not fry it and pour it on the liquid. For those who start making spanish rice, it’s easier that way.
In a saucepan put twice as much water as rice with salt (a little more because when boiling the water and then in the paella always evaporates a little) and a sachet of coloring for paella or if the dye comes in a pot by eye so that it takes a little color. When it boils, and not before, the water is poured over the sofrito rice that will be on the fire as well. The rice is repositioned so that it is well distributed throughout the pan and the chicken and vegetable are added, distributing it so that it is well distributed. Wait for about 20 minutes to cook on the fire. It is being tested to see how hard it is or not the rice and how much salt is left. In the event that the water has been consumed and the rice is still hard, always have a little water with salt and sweetener in an always hot saucepan, to add to the rice. Watch out! The water must necessarily be thrown around the edges of the rice, NEVER in the center or wherever you want, and always throw it away little by little. Once the degree of cooking is reached in which the grain of the rice is neither hard nor annealed, and provided it is dry without broth, the paella is ready.
The recipe for spanish rice dish does not always come out at the beginning, because it is a very intuitive recipe that acquires skill as it has already been done several times and has also seen how it is done several times. But a good paella is worth learning to make it. Patience and good profit!