Make an Authentic Paella Dish!
Paella (Spanish word for "pan") is a very popular dish that originated in Spain in the mid-19th century. Paella has become a staple on many American restaurant menus. However, the original and most popular paella is from Valencia, on the east coast of Spain. Paella is served hot as a main course, but there are other varieties of paella, such as seafood paella and mixed paella (meat, seafood and vegetables).
I teach Paella de Valencia in my cooking classes. You will see the paella recipe below but you are welcome to substitute other seafood and shellfish to your liking.
There is a store in Williamsburg, Virginia named La Tienda that also has an online mail-order catalogue. They sell the following items: paella pans, rice, olive oil, pimentos, roasted pepper strips, paprika, seafood stock, cookbooks, and grills.
Be sure to use high-quality saffron and always buy saffron threads, not powdered saffron, which loses its flavor quickly.Turmeric is often substituted for saffron, as it is much less expensive, so buyers beware if you buy the powdered form. Saffron is known to be the world’s most expensive spice, but it is a key ingredient in paella and a little goes a long way.
Paella de Valencia Recipe
- 3-chorizo sausages, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 chicken drumsticks
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, choppd
- 3/4-cup onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups medium grain rice
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. white pepper
- 4 cups stock (2 cups clam juice and 2 cups chicken stock)
- 1 tsp. saffron, threads not powdered
- 1/2 pound fresh mussels
- 1 jar pimentos, whole & drained
- 2 cans artichoke hearts, drained
- ½ cup fresh or frozen peas, cooked and drained
- 8 crab claws and/or lobster claws
- 2 lemons, quartered
- Marinate 1 pound shrimp in:
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine
- In the paella pan, brown the sausage and chicken drumsticks in the olive oil. Add garlic and chopped onions and cook until browned.
- Remove meat mixture from pan and reserve.
- To the remaining olive oil, add rice and cook until transparent and slightly golden. Add salt and white pepper.
- Bring stock to a boil to dissolve the saffron. Cover rice with the stock and put the sausage and chicken back in the pan.
- Cover and cook slowly, about 30 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed.
- In the meantime, marinate shrimp in oil, parsley, garlic, onion, and wine for at least one hour. Remove from marinade and add to rice once liquid has absorbed.
- Garnish paella with mussels, pimentos, artichoke hearts, peas, crab and lobster. Cover and let the garnish ingredients steam for 20 minutes.
- Serve with lemon sections.
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