Paella in Valencia
If there's one Valencian dish that everyone's heard of it's paella. Paella gets its name from the pan used to cook the rice - the paella is a saucepan with two handles. It must be at least 30 cm, in diameter and is quite shallow, with the edges 4 or 5 cm high, depending on the diameter. Purists say that paella should be cooked over a wood fire using water from Valencia, as the composition of the latter is perfect for rice, which must of course be of the Bomba type (short, round white grains). In Valencia, you can order chicken, rabbit, shellfish, vegetable and even mixed paellas. In Valencia, rice is cooked in a thousand different ways, all equally delicious. This is true even if it hasn't been cooked in the traditional paella pan. You'll always be able to enjoy delicious dishes such as baked rice, rice in stock with chicken, rice with vegetables or snails or black rice, etc.
Where to eat paella
Traditionally, you should eat paella in the neighbourhood next to the sea, although there are specialist restaurants all over town. The restaurants on the beaches of Las Arenas and La Malvarrosa have been serving traditional paellas for decades.
Recipe for paella
Although there are many recipes for paella, we have included a recipe for those of you who want to know more about the best-known Valencian dish.
Ingredients (for 10):
- Rice (1 kilo) (100-120 grams / person)
- Chicken (1 kilo)
- Rabbit (1 kilo)
- Green beans or ferradura (500 grams)
- Navy beans or tabella (300 grams)
- Lima beans or garrofón (300 grams)
- Ground red paprika
- Saffron threads
- Fresh tomatoes
- Virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Water (two glasses of water for one of rice)
- 1. Place the paella pan on the heat and pour in the olive oil and cover the bottom of the pan. Add salt and stir to mix with the oil.
- 2. Sautee the chicken and the rabbit to take on the flavour of the salt and oil.
- 3. When the meat is well sautéed, add the green beans and Lima beans. Mix well with the meat. Sautee the tomato and when it is well done add the paprika, cook for a few seconds and remove from the heat.
- 4. Add water (almost to the height of the rivets of the handles) before the tomato and paprika burn and stick to the pan.
- 5. Leave to boil for the stock to gain flavour.
- 6. Add the rice by drawing a cross on the pan. Use a spatula to spread the rice out.
- 7. Let the rice boil for about 20 minutes, adjusting the heat so that the stock evaporates but the dish doesn't burn.