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Paella Valenciana

August 17, 2012

Earlier this week I was in the process of clearing all my cookbooks from the kitchen (it’s currently a shell of it’s former inglorious self) so I thought I’d take the opportunity to muddle them all up and choose this month’s Random Recipe challenge. However, as I was carrying them a piece of card fluttered out. A recipe card. How much more random can you get than that?  This Random Recipe chose itself.

The recipe is for Paella Valenciana and it’s from a recipe card given to all the guests at the wedding of some very lovely friends who had the most amazing ceremony in an olive grove on a hillside in Spain with sunflowers, communal paella, dancing, churros and pool party the next morning. They are now expecting a small-person, so here’s to you M+V+bump!

I’ve been meaning to make it for a while but assumed it would have lots of ingredients I didn’t have. I was wrong (except for the rabbit). It came out a little on the spicy side for Mr B’s tastes so I’ll have to think of a way of mellowing it.

I’m afraid that I got so excited taking photos of the colours of the freshly podded peas, juicy vine tomatoes and then of the big simmering pot that I completely forgot to take photos of the finished product. It was only after scoffing the lot that I remembered.

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Paella Valenciana

3/4kg chicken legs/thighs cut into even portions
1/2kg rabbit portions (I left this out as I was making a smaller amount)
400g paella rice
250g runner beans (topped, tailed and cut into strips)
250g peas or broad beans
1 large tomato (peeled and chopped)
150ml olive oil
A large pinch of saffron
1/2tsp spanish paprika
2 litres of water (I boiled the pea pods in this water to get the added flavour from them)
45cm paella pan or large deep saucepan

Heat the oil. Fry the chicken (and rabbit) in batches for a few minutes on medium heat until golden.
Add all the meat back into the pan along with the beans, peas, broadbeans and continue to fry for 1min.
Lower the head and add the tomato and paprika. Fry for another minute.
Add 1.5 litres of water and season.
Bring to the boil, then simmer for 45-60mins until the meat is cooked through (mine was falling apart my 45mins).
Check the seasoning and add the saffron.
Make sure the liquid is at least an inch deep, then raise the temperature to a boil and add the rice making sure it is as evenly spread throughout the pan as possible but without stirring (to get the crust on the bottom of the pan).
Cook on a high heat for about 10mins  stirring gently then on a low heat for another 8-10mins. Add more water if necessary
The paella should have absorbed most of the liquid and the rice be cooked aldente.
Check seasoning, then leave to rest for 8-10mins before serving.

Ideally you should all dig in from a communal paella pan with your paella spoons. The caramelised crust at the bottom of the paella pan is called the “socarrat” and is the most coveted part of the paella.  So don’t apologise for burning the bottom.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 17, 2012 10:49 pm

    This sounds delicious. Personally I like it on the spicy side. Thanks for reassuring me about eating the crust – that’s always been my favourite bit but I felt a bit guilty about it.

    • August 17, 2012 10:50 pm

      I was also relieved to learn about the crust – I love it. I also like the bit at the bottom of the porridge pan though…

  2. August 18, 2012 9:33 am

    oh LORDY… is this not just heaven for me…? Chicken thighs… paella… HELLO???? what an amazing flutter… like kismet… I am gonna be stealing this one for sure… and I LOVE all that caramelly burnt crusty bit too… fave bit!… thank you so much for taking part this month, love having you part of the gang xx

  3. August 18, 2012 11:59 pm

    Definitely cant get more random than this! Love paella and even though we can’t see the finished product I can just imagine it. Love your photo slideshow – how did you do that?

  4. August 30, 2012 8:17 pm

    That photo slideshow is amazing, I was so mesmerised I nearly forgot to look at the recipe! I love paella, esp when someone else has made it for me!

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