Paella is a traditional Spanish dish that originated in the Valencia region of Spain. It is typically made with rice, saffron, vegetables, and meat or seafood. The most traditional version of paella is Valenciana, which is made with rabbit, chicken, and beans. However, there are many variations of paella, including seafood paella, mixed paella, and even vegetarian paella.
The key to making a good paella is the rice. The rice used in paella is typically a short-grain rice, such as bomba or calasparra, which is capable of absorbing a lot of liquid and flavor. The rice is cooked in a large, shallow pan called a paellera, which is traditionally made of metal or enameled steel. The pan is heated over an open flame, and the ingredients are added in layers, starting with the meats and vegetables, followed by the rice and liquids.
Also read: 18 Valencian Food with Recipes that you need to try today
Important ingredients in paella Valenciana
One of the most important ingredients in paella is saffron, which gives the dish its characteristic yellow color and unique flavor. Saffron is a spice that is derived from the stigmas of the saffron crocus flower. It is a very expensive spice, but a little goes a long way, and it is a key ingredient in many traditional Spanish dishes.
Paella can be made with a variety of meats, including rabbit, chicken, pork, and beef, but the most traditional version is made with rabbit and chicken. The meats are cut into small pieces and browned in the paellera before the vegetables are added. The vegetables traditionally used in paella are onions, tomatoes, green beans, and sometimes artichokes.
Seafood paella is a variation that is made with fish and shellfish, such as squid, shrimp, and mussels. This variation is especially popular in coastal regions of Spain. Mixed paella, also known as paella mixta, is a combination of meats and seafood. Vegetarian paella is made with a variety of vegetables and sometimes includes beans, such as butter beans or garbanzo beans.
Paella is typically served in the paellera in which it is cooked, and it is traditionally eaten communally, with everyone digging in and serving themselves. It is often accompanied by a simple salad of tomatoes and onions, and sometimes aioli. Paella is a very versatile dish and can be enjoyed as a main course, a side dish, or even as a tapas dish.
Paella is a traditional Spanish dish that has become popular all over the world. It is a flavorful and satisfying meal that is easy to make and can be adapted to suit any taste or dietary preference. Whether you prefer a traditional paella Valenciana, a seafood paella, or a vegetarian paella, there is a paella for everyone. Paella is not only a delicious meal, but it is also a great way to experience the rich culinary tradition of Spain.
Video – Traditional paella Valenciana
Recipe traditional paella Valenciana
Paella Valenciana is a traditional Spanish dish that originates from the Valencia region of Spain. It is made with rabbit, chicken, and beans, and is flavored with saffron, garlic, and paprika. Here is a recipe for making Paella Valenciana:
Ingredients in traditional paella Valenciana:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 rabbit, cut into pieces
- 1 chicken, cut into pieces
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups Bomba or Calasparra rice
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 cup green beans, trimmed
- 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions – how to make a traditional paella Valenciana
- Heat the olive oil in a large paellera or a wide shallow pan over medium heat.
- Brown the rabbit and chicken pieces in the oil until they are golden brown, then remove them from the pan and set them aside.
- Add the onion and garlic to the pan and sauté until the onion is translucent.
- Add the rice to the pan and stir it well to coat it with the oil.
- Add the chicken broth, water, saffron, paprika, green beans, garbanzo beans, salt, and pepper to the pan. Stir everything together well.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
- Add the rabbit and chicken back to the pan, pushing them down into the rice. Cover the pan and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the meats are cooked through.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving. Paella is traditionally served in the paellera in which it is cooked, and it is eaten communally, with everyone digging in and serving themselves.
Note: This recipe serves 4-6 people, you can adjust the ingredients accordingly. Also, the ingredients and the cooking time may vary depending on the type of pan you use. If you use an enameled steel paellera, you may need to use a little less liquid and increase the cooking time slightly.
Paella Valenciana is a delicious and flavorful dish that is perfect for a family dinner or a special occasion. The combination of rabbit, chicken and beans make it a hearty and satisfying meal. The saffron gives it a unique and fragrant aroma and the paprika gives it a nice color and smoky flavor. Paella is a traditional Spanish dish that is great to share with family and friends, enjoy it!