Things to know about Paella Valenciana Recipe
If someone were to ask you what comes to the top of your mind when you think about food and Spain? Right, the Paella. A Paella is a popular rice dish that is cooked in a pan with whatever ingredient you could think of, and that can be found in pretty much every part of Spain. Most people would regard this as Spain’s national dish as it is all around the country, executed with different techniques and a variety of ingredients, but it is more of an iconic symbol of the Valencian region as it originated within its area.
Valencia, another gastronomic hotspot is mostly popularized because of the Paella, and it all just makes sense because, in the country, it is within that region where rice is produced and distributed from. That is where the specific kind of rice used for this dish is from. Fun fact: the term Paella is actually the shallow frying pan itself and traditionally speaking, this is to be cooked in an open fire so that it cooks evenly as compared to a regular burner.
Moving forward, people would often confuse a Paella Valenciana with a Paella Mixta (chicken and seafood) or even with Marisco (pure seafood), but these two are very much different from each other and these dishes have their respective names for a reason. So let’s cut to the chase and satisfy your curiosity – what makes a real Paella Valenciana? According to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Valencian government, there is a specific list of ten ingredients that must be included in the dish for it to be considered an authentic Valencian Paella, and only a few other ingredients that you can add to it and maintain its authenticity. Most people get intimidated when it comes to preparing Paella because it is highly regarded by many even though it is just a simple dish. But truth be told, it takes a lot of practice to master the art of cooking the perfect Paella. There’s a certain procedure to be followed, a quick pace in movement, ingredients to be used and in a particular order, cooking times to take note of, and lastly, it’s never more than 45 minutes to properly prepare it. So what else are you waiting for? Put that apron on!
Savory Spanish Traditional Rice with Rabbit and Chicken from Valencia. Authentic Recipe of Paella Valenciana.
— General Atributes of This Recipe:
— ADAPT THE SERVINGS OR PORTIONS BY ENTERING YOUR DESIRED VALUE —
- 400 grams (14.11 oz) Bomba Rice
- 225 grams (7.94 oz) Ferraura Green Beans Wide green beans
- 100 grams (3.53 oz) Garrofó Beans Wide white beans, dried or canned
- 300 grams (10.58 oz) Rabbit
- 400 grams (14.11 oz) Chicken Dark meat, chopped
- 200 grams (7.05 oz) Tomato Puree Or Grated Tomato
- 1200-1600 ml (40.58 floz) Water
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil As needed
- 1 pinch Saffron
- Salt To taste
- If the Garrofó (white beans) is dry, it is necessary to soak them overnight. If they already are soaked, drain the liquid out.
- The Ferraura (green beans) should be cleaned by just using your hands, removing the tips, and splitting the beans in half.
- Run the tomatoes through a grater or you may use a food processor.
- In a hot paellera, turn the heat to high and add olive oil and salt to avoid splattering.
- Once the pan is hot enough, add in the chopped chicken and rabbit and sear until it is brown. Occasionally toss the meat to even up the color and cooking. Season with a little salt.
- Toast the saffron along with the meat to bring out its maximum flavor and aroma.
- Add in both beans, stirring occasionally for about 1-2 minutes until they are tender and slightly different in color. Add in the tomatoes, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
- To make the stock, add the water just until the ingredients are semi-submerged in liquid and bring to a boil for about 18 minutes. Cover the paellera so that it doesn’t completely evaporate. At this point, you may season with salt.
- Evenly distribute the rice throughout the paellera. Mix if you must, but avoid doing so because mixing it will bring out its starch and you will end up with a mushy paella.
- Let it cook for about roughly 18 minutes. From here on, the heat will vary. The first 5 minutes should be over high heat, and the last 13 minutes should be over medium-low heat. Should it need more cooking, continue doing so.
- Once the liquid has evaporated and absorbed but not completely, it’s time to make the socarrat (the best part of the paella is the toasted rice underneath that bed of glorious rice, meat, and vegetables). This is tricky because you might burn it instead of toasting it. Adjust the heat to medium and let it sit for about 1 to 1 ½ minutes. Check with a wooden spoon if there is rice sticking to the pan. Once there’s rice sticking to the pan, that means your paella is good to go.
- Turn the heat off and cover your paella with a kitchen towel for 5 minutes and let it rest. After this, it’s ready to be served!
- The stock/broth is what will give your Paella Valenciana its divine flavor, so take time and follow the steps in searing the meat and vegetables along with the saffron before adding the liquid.
- The ideal rice to be used for this dish is Arroz Bomba as it absorbs more water as compared to other grains. Remember, it is the rice that is the star of this dish, so make sure you pick out quality rice.
- As per the Regulatory Council of the Denomination of Origin of Arroz de Valencia, the only ingredients you may add to the original recipe to maintain its authenticity are garlic, duck, artichoke, paprika, snails, and rosemary. Otherwise, it is just a typical Arroz and not a traditional and authentic Paella Valenciana.
Cooking Paella takes a lot of time, patience, and hard work, even as simple as it looks. Always keep an eye for it so it doesn’t end up overcooking or burning. Avoid mixing it because mixing it will bring out the starch and your rice will end up mushy.
— Specific Atributes of This Recipe:
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