Skip to content

Paella Valenciana

Paella Valenciana 1

One of my earliest blog recipes was for a Paella with Seafood and Chicken that I posted almost a year ago. Paella is so commonly served with shellfish of some sort that many would regard it as being a seafood dish but, in fact, that isn’t really the case at all. In Spain, Valencia is considered the spiritual home of Paella and the traditional version there, while still based on saffron infused rice, contains snails, usually rabbit, and sometimes chicken or duck. Beans, often a variety, are always included (frequently along with other green vegetables) and tomatoes are required, although the amounts used vary considerably.

I have been meaning to try a Valencian style Paella for ages now but, sadly, it has been about two years since I have seen rabbit in our local grocery store and I have given up hope of obtaining any at present. Still, some Paellas are made in Valencia using only snails so I figure that a ‘bunny-less’ one containing just snails and chicken should still be alright. Beyond that, I will stick to traditional ingredients (although I prefer to use long-grained rather than short-grained rice), but I will make one departure from tradition in the method of cooking…

In true Spanish tradition, a Paella is cooked over an open wood fire in large, flat-bottomed shallow pans known as paellas or paelleras. The whole dish, from start to finish is cooked in the pans with the meats being first browned, vegetables then cooked alongside, with water being added and cooked down to make a rich stock before the rice and saffron is added. I, however, will brown my chicken separately and partly cook my rice in stock before assembling everything in the paellera for a final cooking. In the past, I have usually done the last part in the oven, but this results in there being no nice rice crust (known as the soccarat) at the bottom of the pan. Today, though, I am going to add the rice to the paellera a little earlier than usual and finish cooking on the stovetop to try and achieve this result…

The Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups rice (use a short-grained if you wish to be traditional);
  • 2 cups good Chicken Stock;
  • 1 cup White Wine;
  • 1 packet powdered Saffron (or a couple of pinches of the whole ‘threads’);
  • 1 tbsp. dried Rosemary;
  • 1 tsp. Salt;
  • 2 lbs. Chicken parts;
  • 1 can Snails (36 per can), rinsed well with boiling water;
  • 1 cup chopped Onion;
  • ½  cup diced fresh Tomato;
  • 1 cup fresh Green Beans, blanched for 3 minutes and cut into 1” lengths;
  • 5 canned Artichoke Hearts (these are often added in Valencia);
  • ½ cup diced Red Bell Pepper (save 5 rings for garnishing if desired);
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, chopped;
  • Parsley, for garnish;
  • Salt and Pepper to taste;
  • Empty snail shells (optional, for garnish);

The Method

Paella Valenciana 2

The first step is to brown the chicken pieces. You can do this in a pan, if you like, but I did mine in the oven to save me watching them. Don’t overdo this step, as they will cook further in the assembled Paella. Keep warm until ready to use.

Paella Valenciana 3

Add a couple of glugs of good olive oil to a hot saucepan and throw in the garlic, rosemary and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened but just shy of beginning to darken, and then add the tomato and red bell pepper and cook for just a few minutes longer.

Paella Valenciana 4

Now add the rice, the teaspoon of salt, the wine, stock and saffron. Allow it to come to the boil and then cover the pot and turn the heat to low. Cook for no more than 20 minutes so that the rice has just about, but not quite absorbed all the cooking liquid.

Paella Valenciana 5

If you have, and are using, snail shells, now is a good time to put a snail into each one. Stir the remainder into the rice along with the green beans. Add pepper and, if necessary, a little extra salt to taste, and then turn the rice into the paellera. Spread it out and arrange the chicken pieces and artichoke hearts attractively, pushing them down into the hot rice.

Paella Valenciana 6

Now put the pan onto your burner at moderately high-heat. At this point, you can add your snail shells, pepper rings, or whatever else you like as garnish (fresh rosemary sprigs, if you have them, would be nice).  About two to three minutes should be sufficient to allow the rice to begin forming a crust on the bottom of the pan and you may hear some ‘singing’ as this happens. The length of time will be a bit of a judgment call, depending on the heat (and you can always dig down through the rice to check what is happening), but you need to be sure not to let it go so far that the rice begins to burn. Once you judge it ready, take the pan from the heat, sprinkle over the parsley and serve immediately with whatever wine you didn’t drink while cooking.

The Verdict

Well, although I would really prefer a seafood Paella any day, this was pretty good and I loved the rosemary flavor with the chicken and snails. I’m afraid I didn’t get the socarat just right; the rice started singing as soon as I put the pan on the burner and I was afraid of overdoing it. I really didn’t want to disturb everything by digging down and, consequently, I took the pan from the heat a little too early and there was barely any crust at all. Oh well, I’ll just try to do better the next time …

Oh, by the way, the canned artichokes were just awful. It is the first time I have used them and it will also be the last.

 

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Glad you retracted the canned artichoke hearts in the end 🙂
    I’ve heard of paella with snails, but have never actually seen it. In Spain I usually see the seafood type, often with chicken or rabbit. Haven’t been to Valencia though…
    Merry Christmas! Or should I say Feliz Navidad 🙂

    December 26, 2012
    • I’ve been to Portugal but not Spain… all my Paella’s have been in North America.

      December 26, 2012
  2. Learned something new here, thanks! I lived in South Philly many years and I can recommend D’Angelo Brothers who have a stall in the Philadelphia Ninth Street Market. They have all kinds of game meat including rabbit and they do mail order. http://www.dangelobros.com

    December 26, 2012
    • Thanx for the tip. I am not sure if fresh produce by mail would work here… dried goods are fine. Fresh stuff needs to come via Montreal or Ottawa Air Freight. I did have a look at the link though!

      December 26, 2012
  3. Looks wonderful! 🙂

    December 28, 2012
  4. I love paella. It’s one of my favorite rice dishes. This looks great!

    December 29, 2012
  5. Tried your recipe this Satueday evening. really good, and easy to follow. This encourages me in my dream to find some Spanish moms and pops in Southern Spain and ask them to teach me the traditional way of doing Paella. It is a dream

    May 5, 2013
    • I’m so glad it worked out for you … just hope you gave the canned artichokes a miss 🙂

      May 5, 2013
      • Lol. Indeed, I skipped the canned artichokes. But seriously, the recipe is great. Thanks

        May 5, 2013

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. The Yummy Food Competition | Sybaritica

Comments, thoughts or suggestions most welcome...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Meet & Eats

The food that I've had the pleasure of meeting and eating.

Uncle Grumpy's Playroom

Current events, humor, science, religion, satire

Food Travel Lover

走过的地方 尝过的美食 留下的回忆

The Odd Pantry

Essays on food

Reputable Sources

Organizing ferments since 2013

that Other Cooking Blog

. food . photo . sous vide .

REMCooks

My Virtual Cookbook to Share My Love and Joy of Food and Cooking One Recipe at a Time

lola rugula

my journey of cooking, gardening, preserving and more

Yummy Lummy

I cook, photograph and eat food with the occasional restaurant review!

Eye Of the Beholder

A pair of eternally curious eyes and a camera...Life is beautiful.

gluten free zen

Taking The Stress Out Of Gluten-Free Grain-Free & Dairy-Free Living

Clayton's Kitchen

Big flavors and fun cooking from a cubbyhole kitchen

Bunny Eats Design

Happy things, tasty food and good design

DENTIST CHEF

Dentist chef, just a dentistry student who practice the dentist's cooking recipes in a dentist's kitchen

Mad Dog TV Dinners

Guess what's coming to dinner?

Chefsopinion

Real Food & Real Opinions

Bento Days

Making bentos for kids

Garden to Wok

Fresh and tasty!

Bam's Kitchen

Healthy World Cuisine

Trang Quynh

everyone is special in their own way :)

Farm to Table Asian Secrets

Full-Flavored Recipes for Every Season

HolyPrettyApple

If people say that life is too short to drink bad wine, it means also that life is too short to eat crappy food!

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

The Unorthodox Epicure

Confessions of an Aspiring Food Snob

The 好吃 Challenge

1 girl, 273 days, 100 recipes

Rabbitcancook

a recipe sharing and bento blog

benleeirene

Just another WordPress.com site

The Food Nazi

Never try to eat more than you can lift

Expat Chef in Barcelona

From my kitchen to yours

Keeping Up With the Holsbys

a journey into my head and my pantry

Nurul's Culinary Adventures

I Love Food, the Universe and Everything!!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

home-cooking recipes, restaurant reviews, International cuisine ,

Naked Vegan Cooking

Body-positive Vegan Goodness

Bites of Food History

Sharing my Experimental Archaeology of Food

Stefan's Gourmet Blog

Cooking, food, wine

FOODTRAIL

A Journey About Food, Recipes And Destinations

bcfoodieblogger

Fresh, exciting and adventurous food journey

One Man's Meat

Multi-award winning food blog, written in Dublin, Ireland.

%d bloggers like this: