Curiously enough, the Spanish Paella Recipe, the most Spanish of all dishes, which is practically a byword for “Spanishness”, is neither Spanish, nor is it known as “paella” here in Ronda! Around the Serranía is just called “Arroz”
The original recipe is lost in the mists of time, but scholars now believe that the dish was brought to Iberia by the Phoenicians, long before the birth of Christ.
Though the most famous version hales from Valencia, paella is regarded as a local specialty in just about every corner of Spain.
Paella is the dish with a million variants. Every village, every household, has its own version. The recipe I’m giving you here should be regarded as a starting-point, from which you can go on, with a little practice, to develop your very own version.
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 tomato, diced
- 400g (2 cups) short-grain rice
- 960ml (4 cups) chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- Salt and pepper
- 2 chicken legs, cut into pieces
- 2 rabbit legs, cut into pieces
- 12 small clams
- 12 mussels
- 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 120g (1 cup) green beans, trimmed
- 120g (1 cup) peas
- Olive oil
This method uses an oven to finish the cooking but if you prefer the paella can be left on the stove top whilst the rice cooks and absorbs the stock. (See tips below)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. (If finishing in the oven)
- In a large paella pan or oven-safe skillet, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and rabbit pieces and cook until browned on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, add the onion, garlic, and bell peppers, and sauté until softened. Add the tomato and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat with the vegetables. Add the chicken broth, saffron, paprika, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Arrange the chicken and rabbit pieces on top of the rice, and add the clams, mussels, shrimp, green beans, and peas.
- Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the seafood is cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes before serving.
Enjoy your delicious and traditional Spanish paella!
A few tips for the perfect Paella.
- Use the right type of rice: For the best results, it’s important to use a short-grain rice such as bomba or calasparra. These varieties absorb more liquid and have a firmer texture than other types of rice, which makes them ideal for paella.
- Don’t stir the rice too much: While it’s important to stir the rice a few times during the cooking process, you don’t want to overdo it. Over-stirring can release too much starch from the rice, which can result in a mushy texture.
- Use a high-quality broth: The broth you use will have a big impact on the overall flavor of your paella. If possible, use a homemade broth or a high-quality store-bought version.
- Keep the heat consistent: Whether you’re finishing the paella on the stovetop or in the oven, it’s important to maintain a consistent heat throughout the cooking process. This will ensure that the rice cooks evenly and that the flavors are well distributed.
- Let it rest: Once your paella is done cooking, it’s important to let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the rice to absorb any remaining liquid and ensures that the flavors have time to meld together.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to making the perfect paella!
Fancy snails in your paella recipe? See this alternative recipe here: https://www.rondatoday.com/a-traditional-paella-recipe-made-in-ronda/
The Caminito del Rey
Find tickets for the Caminito del Rey: https://www.caminodelrey.es/
Wildside Holidays – Spain
Take a trip on the Wildside! Discover the wildlife and nature of Spain, its Natural and National Parks and find the top wildlife, activity and walking holiday companies.
Iberia Nature Forum
Struggling with identifying those bugs and beasties? Why not check out the Iberia nature Forum!
Discover the Iberia Nature Forum – Environment, geography, nature, landscape, climate, culture, history, rural tourism and travel.