The authentic paella has its origin in Comunidad Valenciana. That´s why this recipe has crossed borders and now it´s internationally known (it has its own emoji!) and people from everywhere looks for it in restaurants for the traditional delicacy that it is. But the authentic paella is prepared with the typical ingredients of every region of Comunidad Valenciana. ¿Why? Because the traditional paella, the one which smells like smoke and countryside, is the one we enjoy on Sundays with family and friends or during Fallas Festival, the same one we prepare with a beer on one hand and potato chips on the other while talking to friends and keeping an eye on the fire made with orange tree wood. And, obviously, after it´s done we can´t forget about the necessary dip in the pool before we seat at the table for lunch. A Paella has to be done with affection and dedication, and it doesn´t matter if it´s cooked at a renowned restaurant or at a picnic next to a river, in the summertime, after an excursion in the mountains. We bring you here the recipe of Valencia´s Region, because every corner of the Comunidad Valenciana has its little differences when it comes to cooking a Paella (just little ones, but not atrocities like adding peas). There are some certified restaurants where you can go and enjoy a fantastic and traditional Paella, but I recommend you to learn how to make it by yourself, that way you can prepare it for your family and friends and brag about it! We leave you down below the recipe for the traditional Valencian Paella, the one every Valencian carries in its heart. Because there are thousands of good rice dishes but for paella-lovers like us, there is nothing like a good Paella!
INGREDIENTS FOR 5 PEOPLE:
- -500g of rice (variety J. Sendra)
- -Half chicken and half rabbit (2 pieces of chicken and one of rabbit for each person)
- -150g of “ferraura” (a type of green flat bean from the region)
- -150g of “rojet” (a type of green/red flat bean from the region)
- -125g of “garrofó” (a type of flat butter bean from the region)
- -50g of “tavella” (a type of white bean from the region)
- – 2 mature tomatoes to grate
- -125 ml AOVE (initials for Extra Virgin Olive Oil in Spanish)
- -30g of salt
- – Rosemary
Keep in mind that for some cultures rabbit is considered a pet and they won´t accept to eat it. However, the original recipe includes it so we will do it too.
The rabbit cooking is faster than the chicken, so it´s better to add the chicken first and when it´s a little bit roasted, then we will add the rabbit.
The traditional recipe also includes “vaquetes” (small snails) but it´s not obligatory if you don´t like them. There is a lot of controversy about it: for example, I cook for a lot of people and I don´t normally use them.
- First of all, we pour the AOVE in the pan and we start the fire very low at the beginning.
- Then we, put the salt around the oil to avoid that area to get burned.
- When the oil is already warm we add the chicken: make sure to mix the meat with the salt we added before.
- We will leave it with a low fire until the chicken gets golden and then we add the rabbit. We will leave the meat until it´s roasted with a brownish appearance and then we will move the meat to the sides so it is not overcooked.
- Add now the vegetables (“rojet” and “ferraura”) and we will let it cook in a low fire.
- We will fry the vegetables very briefly to preserve its qualities, flavour and colour. Like we did before with the meat, we will move the vegetables to the sides so they don´t get burnt.
- Next step is very important: we have to add the paprika and make sure to remove it until we add the tomato that we had previously grated.
Minitip: It´s very important to avoid the paprika of getting burned because it will add a bitter flavour to the paella. That is why there is a little trick you can use; you can mix the paprika with the grated tomato before pouring it in the pan.
Minitip: When the water from the tomato evaporates, we can add up to 3 glasses of water to continue frying lightly, that will intensify the flavour of the paella.
- Once the tomato is fried, we mix every ingredient in the pan for a couple of minutes until the water of the tomato evaporates. When this happens, we will add the “garrofó”.
- Now we need pay attention: we won´t use any soup that is already prepared to get the original flavour of our traditional paella. That is why we are going to prepare the broth on the go with water and then leave it to boil down. To do so, first we will add the amount of water necessary, depending on the amount of rice we are using, and we have to memorize the level of the water in the pan as we will have to add more water until it reaches the edge.
- We will leave it boil and reduce, due to evaporation, until it reaches the level we memorized before; when that happens we will add the rice and the saffron and distribute them throw the whole pan.
- We then turn the fire up to the maximum for 5 minutes.
Minitip: To add the saffron we will smash it and then we will mix it with the soup in a glass, when that is done we can pour it in the paella.
- The next 5 minutes we will reduce the fire to medium high and taste the soup; if necessary, we will add salt. The last 7 minutes we will reduce the fire to the lowest flame and add the rosemary.
- Then we will leave it rest for a couple of minutes while we finish the chips and olives (snacks)
- Enjoy your Paella!