Here are the instructions on how to make a traditional Valencian paella. This is my motherâ€™s recipe, and Iâ€™ve chosen a typical paella made of meat, because itâ€™s my favourite. However, instead of meat you can choose to cook a paella made of fish, seafood or a mix of meat and seafood.
For 6 people
- 100g rice for each person
- 1.75 litres water
- 100 ml of olive oil
- Â˝ chicken cut up into little chunks
- Â˝ rabbit cut up into little chunks
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes. Approximately 500g
- A red bell pepper, sliced
- A head of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of yellow food colouring or saffron
- Cut the red bell pepper into strips. Roast them using a pan; set aside.
- Fry the head of garlic; set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium-high heat until it begins to smoke. Place the chicken and rabbit pieces into the oil and fry lightly until golden brown on both sides (this takes about 5 minutes); set aside.
- Fry the chopped tomatoes, adding some salt. Cook for 5 minutes; set aside.
- Boil the water in a saucepan. Stir in the meat and the fried tomatoes. Let the mixture simmer for 15 minutes until itâ€™s well combined and the meat is well done.
- Heat a little olive oil in a very large pan with two handles or paella pan over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke.
- Add all the rice in one go, stirring to make sure it doesnâ€™t stick.
- Immediately mix in the meat and tomato mixture. Stir it again.
- Add yellow food colouring or saffron.
- Taste the mixture. If you like, add a pinch of salt.
- Stir the mixture again to make sure it doesnâ€™t stick.
- Spread the rice around the paella pan, (make sure the pieces of meat are well spaced. Remember that the bigger a paella pan is, the better, since a good paella mustn't be thick.)
- Let the paella cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Put the fried head of garlic in the middle of the paella, but if you donâ€™t like the garlic taste, you can omit this step.
- Decoratively place the strips of pepper on top of the paella (drawing a daisy shape is the most common way)
- Continue cooking for 15 minutes over medium heat until the rice is done and the water has evaporated. Be careful! Make sure that the rice isnâ€™t overcooked. Rice, in any good paella, has to be a bit hard, or chewy, but never tender. So, youâ€™ll have to control the water level and the tenderness of the rice. If the rice appears to be getting too dry during the last 10 minutes, add more water. If the rice is too wet at the end of the 10 minutes, uncover and the unwanted liquid will evaporate.
- Turn off the heat.
- Cover the paella, and let it settle for 5 minutes
- Garnish with lemon wedges to serve.
Cooking a paella is as easy as it seems to be! Your delicious paella will be ready in no more than one and a half hour!
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