Monday, March 30th, 2015
March 27 was National Paella Day, so here’s the video and my recipe for an Authentic Paella.
What is authentic paella? It’s paella served in Valencia. And I’ll bet that no two Valencian restaurants prepare their “authentic paella” in the same way. Making any traditional dish requires certain givens. Paella is a rice dish seasoned with saffron smoked paprika and “other” spices along with meats or seafood or a combination of of the two. Many traditional recipes call for rabbit, too close to Easter. If your grandmother is from Spain and she taught you how to make paella, changes are that’s as authentic as you can get. If you’re board look at parts of several “authentic paella” videos on youtube. They are ALL different. So here is my take on the Classic Spanish Dish.
8 people were coming to dinner but I made enough for 10 hoping I would have left overs. There was plenty of succulent rice to allow for seconds. Everyone had a thigh, 3 shrimp and 4 slices of sausage. Rice and 2 chicken thighs were left for lunch the next day.
The only critical proportion is the ratio of rice to broth. I was using Bomba rice, an authentic paella rice from Valencia. It absorbs 3 parts liquid to one part rice instead of the usual 2 to one. You’ll be cooking the rice uncovered at a higher temperature than traditional rice so don’t skimp on the liquid. After adding the rice you want to make sure that everything in the pan is covered by the liquid.
2 cups of Paella Rice or Risotto Rice
(If you’re not using paella rice, adjust the liquid.
8oz Spanish Style Chorizo, or other smoked sausage cut into coins
8 Chicken Thighs, skin on, bone in.
24 Large Shrimp (leaving the shells on helps to keep them from over cooking)
1 Large Yellow Onion, finely diced
6 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Can Chopped Tomatoes (substitute ripe tomatoes if they’re available)
1 bag frozen peas
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 red bell peppers – roasted and peeled. If you don’t want to take the time to roast your own peppers you can sear the strips in hot olive oil and reserve for the garnish at the end.
1 Cup white wine
5 Cups of Chicken Stock
2 Large Pinches of Saffron
1 heaping tsp of Smoked Sweet Paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
About 4 Tbsp of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste
The pan I was using was a beautiful copper paella pan with stainless cooking surface. I brought the dish to the table so I could get all the Oos & Ahs before serving it up. A side salad and a nice chilled white was all the meal needed.