You can order a dish of paella from anywhere in Spain, but most Spaniards consider it a dish from Valencia, so don’t bother ordering it in Barcelona or you’ll look even more like a tourist. This is a very controversial dish – many chefs have added their own spin often to the outrage of the Spanish.
Jamie Oliver’s famous attempt to add Chorizo resulted in a huge social media backlash. So in order to avoid any trouble, here is the traditional Valencian Paella recipe. It’s a good recipe to start with so you can get a feel for how to cook this dish. Then of course you can experiment with additional ingredients, in particular adding seafood like prawns and mussels which won’t offend anyone.
- Olive oil
- 500gm Chicken thighs cut into large pieces
- 1.5 cups white rice
- 100gms green beans, halved
- 100gm frozen peas
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 cup passata or half can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tspn smoked paprika
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Fresh lime wedges to serve
- Heat oil in a large flat pan and sauté chicken until lightly browning on all sides
- Add green vegetables and heat through (2 minutes) then add garlic and cook for another minute then add, passata/tomatoes
- Add paprika and allow the sauce to develop in flavour (3-5 minutes on medium).
- Next add stock and rosemary sprigs
- Bring to the boil and allow it to reduce by half. Remove the rosemary sprigs.
- Add rice and simmer on medium-low until rice is cooked (15-20 minutes, but check it after about 12 minutes). Serve in the pan for people to help themselves or divide amongst plates and top with lime wedges.
Note: A traditional Valencian Paella actually contains snails, but we have left them out of this recipe as they are quite hard to get in Australia and not to everyone’s taste!