First of all I apologize you for my English level because it’s pretty basic, but I hope you value the effort I’m going to make to explain how a traditional Valencian paella is cooked. So please be patient with my expressions and any questions that I may cause you, do not be afraid to ask me anything. I will help you with all my heart.
Valencian paella ingredients
- 1/2 chicken, chopped and skinless (very important)
- 1/2 rabbit to pieces also
- 1 chicken liver, cut into large pieces
- 250 gr. minced meat to prepare balls (a personal touch)
- 100 gr. of round rice (very important) per person and 100 gr. more (ex. 700 gr. for 6 people)
- 300 gr. of flat green jew
- 300 gr. of large flat bean
- 2 cloves of chopped dried garlic
- 1 red pepper cut into strips
- 2 grated pear tomatoes
- 1/2 envelope of food coloring and sweet paprika
- 1 branch of rosemary
- 300 ml. of extra virgin olive oil
- Chopped or ground saffron, water and salt
How to make traditional valencian paella for 6 or 7 people?
1 Level the paella pan, light only the smallest firebox and put the fire strong, then pour the oil.
2 When the oil is hot, lower the heat to a minimum, put the balls of meat, fry until they are very well done and then take them out of the paella and set aside.
3 Raise over medium heat, put the meat and liver, and fry until golden brown on both sides. Add plenty of salt when you put the meat and when you turn the meat over.
Remove the liver first because it is going to be cooked before and set aside.
4 Once the meat is good enough to eat it, set the meat on the sides of the paella pan so it does not continue to be fried.
5 Put the red pepper with a little salt and fry also on both sides. Add the flat green jews and the large flat beans and cook them all together.
When the red pepper is well done on both sides set aside, because it is going to cook before than the other vegatables.
6 At the moment you see that the vegetables are already done, make a hole in the middle and put the garlic, cut into pieces. Remove quickly so that the garlic does not burn and then mix with the vegetables and meat.
7 Without wasting time, add the grated tomato and cook everything together and quickly because the garlic cooks very fast.
8 Then make another hole in the center and put 2 spoons dessert of sweet paprika. Quickly mix everything together and at 10 seconds, at the most, pour water into the paella.
9 Fill with water until the water lacks about two fingers to reach the top. Surely the water will have covered the rivets of the handles of the paella.
Turn on the second fire and rise to a high heat until the water starts to boil, then lower the heat a little. Write when the water starts to boil because the water has to boil for 20 minutes.
10 After 10 minutes, place the rosemary branch on the water, leave it for 2 minutes and remove it from the paella. Take advantage to put the ground saffron and 1/2 envelope of food coloring, stir everything together and distribute it by the paella.
11 At 15 minutes after the water starts to boil, try salt and add more salt if necessary. Repeat this operation every 2 minutes until reaching the indicated 20 minutes.
12 The water goes down and at 20 minutes the water will be below the rivets of the handles of the paella, that is, the water will have dropped a finger and a half from its initial level.
If at 20 minutes the water has not dropped enough, let it boil more until the water drops that finger and a half indicated.
If before reaching 20 minutes the water has already dropped to that level, you can now go to the next point.
13 Now that the water is at the desired level, add the rice and distribute it throughout the paella. Stir everything so that no grains of rice are left over the meat or vegetables and all the grains of rice are submerged.
14 During the first 5 minutes, raise the two stoves to a high heat. At 5 minutes lower to medium heat and keep well, since the rice should boil 20 minutes.
15 Taste salt every 5 minutes and add a little if necessary. It is much better to add the salt little by little every 5 minutes that you put a lot of salt the first time and put too much.
16 At 15 minutes check the broth level and then 3 minutes later again. In these two moments you can find this three situations:
- That you see that you will not lack broth or you will be left over, then everything is OK.
- It may be that it is almost no more broth or you see that it is going to end before the 20 minutes that the rice needs to be cooked. Then turn off the heat, cover the paella with newspaper and wait for 7 or 8 minutes as well.
- That you see that there is a lot of broth still and it will be left over.
17 When you see that the broth is going down and the rice is already protruding from above, it is time for you to place, above and with care, the strips of red paprika.
18 You have to check, just before the exact time, if the rice is grabbing the bottom of the paella pan. To do this, you must grab a spoon and scratch at the bottom of the paella pan. Now you can also check if there is any broth left in the bottom of the paella pan.
Depending on what you find it, you must follow the same instructions like in the previous step.
19 At this time, you have to check how the rice cooks. The best thing is that you take some grains of rice from the middle area of the thickness of the rice layer. You can find three situations:
- that the rice is well done, you will know it because it is loose and soft when you bite it. If so, you have to put out the fire or do the «socarrat».
- that the rice is a little raw, you will know it because it is hard when you eat it and it has a whitish color. Then you must follow the instructions of step 16, depending on the broth that still exists in the paella.
- that the rice has been cooked too much, you will know it because the grains of rice are as open and stuck between them. So if there is no more broth, put out the fire or do the «socarrat»; If there is still a broth, put the fire to maximum for a moment so that it evaporates completely.
20 To do the «socarrat» and when everything is perfect, open the fire very hard for half a minute and extinguish the fire immediately.
21 Another important point is to leave the paella to rest for 5 minutes on the paella burner, after this time you can put it on plates or serve the paella on the table to eat directly from it, as I like it.
What can I tell you about our paella?
My mother-in-law makes a paellas that they make you feel that you want to cry about how good they are. Why? Because she cooks paella for many years and she knows all the tricks so that the paella is always very tasty.
We are not professional chefs, we are normal people like you. But Valencians have been making paella for many years and for that reason we make it so exquisite.
Well, in all of my posts I’m going to reveal you those details that make the paella taste delicious. I assure you that if you cook following our paella recipe, you will never cook paella in any other way. And when you eat it, you will taste the difference and the paellas that you have tried until today, they will no longer like you.
What is the origin of the valencian paella?
Paella is the typical dish of Spain and of course of Valencia. The paella is more than 500 years old and its origin is located around La Albufera (this information can be read in several books of that time). The Albufera is a large lagoon that is next to the sea and a few kilometers south of the city of Valencia.
The people at that time, lived from their fields, they sowed their cereals, vegetables and fruits and they raised their animals. Then they took all those foods and they used them to eat. The paella dish allowed valencians to have a hot meal on the table every day, taking advantage of all the food they had in their hands.
Since then to cook a paella a utensil called paella pan, cauldron or paella is used. In this post I used to write, any of these three ways that you can call the recipient to cook a paella.
Are all the ingredients in a paella recipe worth?
No, and flatly no! If you cook a «paella» with chorizo, then I would tell you that it is not a paella. If that «paella» of chorizo is well made, surely that «paella» will be very tasty. But you would not be cooking a paella, you would be making a rice with chorizo. That is the difference.
The main ingredients that make up a traditional paella recipe or valencian paella are chicken, rabbit, flat green jew, large flat bean (forgive me for this translation) and other more basic ingredients. I’m going to explain you perfectly how to make paella and, finally, you can eat an authentic and traditional Valencian paella.
There are also other paella recipes, such as paella with artichokes and beans, mixed paella (cooked with chicken and seafood), chicken paella (like this one), vegetarian paella or seafood paella.
Other dishes cooked with rice and paella pan in the Valencian cuisine are, «arroz a banda» (paddy rice), black rice (both cooked with seafood) or rice with lobster. In addition we also make very well the «fideuá» (cooked with thin noodles and seafood) or the «all i pebre» (cooked with broth of eels and potatoes).
I’m going to continue uploading more paella recipes and other typical dishes of Valencia so that you cook them delicious. But if you want that I teach you to cook any of these dishes and it is not yet in my blog, then you leave me a comment below and I will cook that dish, I will record a video and I will explain to you all the details and secrets.
It’s your turn
If you liked it, or thought it was valuable information, I would be very grateful if you could share this publication with anyone who thinks you might be interested in paella.
In addition, only with a person who does not speak Spanish, can cook an original Valencian paella, eat it and truly enjoy it, It will have been worth all the time spent writing this paella recipe for you.