Paella Valenciana is a Spanish recipe made from rice, chicken, rabbit, a few varieties of beans, and a nice spice mix. it’s one of the best-known dishes in Spanish cuisine. For this reason, many non-Spaniards view it as Spain’s national dish, but Spaniards almost unanimously consider it to be a dish from the Valencian region.
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- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lbs chicken cut into 6 pieces
- 2 lbs rabbit cleaned and cut into pieces
- 1 head garlic cloves separated and peeled
- 1 tomato finely chopped
- 1 can butter beans 15.5 ounce can
- 5 oz green peas
- 5 oz green beans
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp mild paprika to taste
- 1 pinch saffron threads
- 1 pinch dried thyme to taste
- 1 pinch dried rosemary to taste
- 4 cups uncooked white rice as needed
- Heat a paella pan over medium-high heat, and coat with olive oil. Add the chicken, rabbit, and garlic; cook and stir until nicely browned. Move the browned meat to the sides of the pan, and add the tomato, butter beans, peas, and green beans. Season with paprika, and mix well.
- Fill the paella pan almost to the top with water, measuring the water as you put it in. This is to help you to determine how much rice to add, as paella pans come in different sizes. Bring to a boil. Simmer for about 1 hour to make a nice broth.
- Season with a generous amount of salt, and just enough saffron to make a nice yellow color. Season with thyme and rosemary if desired. The goal is to make a rich-tasting broth that will soak into the rice to make it delicious. Stir in half as much rice as the amount of water in the pan. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.
Did You Know?
Moors in Muslim Spain began rice cultivation around the 10th century. Consequently, eastern Iberian Península locals often made casseroles of rice, fish, and spices for family gatherings and religious feasts, thus establishing the custom of eating rice in Spain. This led to rice becoming a staple by the 15th century. Afterward, it became customary for cooks to combine rice with vegetables, beans, and dry cod, providing an acceptable meal for Lent. Along Spain’s eastern coast, rice was predominantly eaten with fish.
Spanish food historian Lourdes March notes that the dish “symbolizes the union and heritage of two important cultures, the Roman, which gives us the utensil and the Arab which brought us the basic food of humanity for centuries.”
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