Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Classic Paella Valenciana
160 gr. Spanish rice (or Italian as second option)
1/4 of chicken and
1/4 of rabbit chopped with the bone
4 tablespoons of oil e.v.
1 teaspoon of sweet paprika(pimienton dulce)
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 tomato grated
1 lt. of water approximately
1 handful of flat green beans cut into quarters
a bit of rosemary
1 handful of fresh white beans garrofon or similar.
1 pinch of saffron
This is the true paella Valenciana, the most classic of all. Made with chicken and rabbit. Those made with fish, we will see another week. Those made of meat and fish, are only seen abroad...sounds like an urban legend! It's here in Valencia, where I live now, where the paella was born. And here, in Valencia, are situated some of the best rice fields of Spain, in the natural park "Albufera". The dish is named after the typical pot "paella" where the rice is cooked, the main ingredient. The paella is almost flat, slightly concave. The idea is to cook the rice with its protein and vegetables on a flat surface, evaporating all the stock up to leave dry. If you do not have a paella, use the flattest pot or pan you have. The most difficult ingredient to find is the bean "garrofon" (a big white bean), so just replace it with a similar one, that has been previously cooked (if dry), or omit altogether. Paprika is the spice most used in Spain and is called "pimienton." There are different types!! For this dish you use the "pimienton dulce" (sweet paprika).
Season the meat and brown it with oil on the paella (pan). Then add the artichokes, the flat green beans, garrofon beans and after a few minutes the chopped garlic, the grated tomato, the paprika and the saffron. After a couple of minutes, add about 800 ml of water and let it cook for half an hour over medium heat with a little rosemary. At this point, make sure that the level of the broth is not too low. If so, add more water and check the salt level. The broth should be slightly salty. Because of the sweet starch of the rice, they will balance each other. Add the rice and cook over medium heat for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally with a spoon. At this point, the rice is half way trough and it has started to dry on low heat. This is the last moment to check the seasoning and water level. Stop turning it with the spoon and turn off after 5-8 min. Let it rest for at least ten minutes and serve.