Thursday, November 15, 2012

Authentic Valencian Paella

For authentic Paella recipe, one must use authentic ingredients. Authentic ingredients are more expensive but for special occasions, you can splurge a little. Most of the ingredients such as the Chorizo and Spanish Rice can be purchased at World Market (Cost Plus). Not to advertise the store here, but it's the only place I could find authentic ingredients. Some of the ingredients such as Rabbit meat, white butter beans, and Rosemary has also been deleted, but you are welcome to add them in if you like. This recipe makes 10 servings and it takes about 30 minutes to prepare the ingredients and about 1 hour to cook.


4 cups Spanish short grain rice, such as Bomba or Calasparra (any medium or short grain rice that is not sticky will do).
1/4 c olive oil
1 medium onion (diced)
4 garlic cloves (crushed)
Bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves (chopped, reserved some for garnish)
1 (3 lb) frying chichen (cut in small pieces)
2 Spanish chorizo sausages (sliced in small pieces)
3 ripe tomatoes, skinned and crushed or 1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed

1 c sweet peas 
6 cups warm water

Saffron (generous pinch)
1 dozen mussels (scrubbed)
1 lb jumbo shrimp (peeled and de-veined)
2 lobster tails (optional)
Sliced (in rings) calamari (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Lemon wedges for serving

Spice Mix
1 tbs sweet paprika
2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper

Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken; marinate for 1 hour, covered.


Heat oil in paella pan over medium high-heat. Saute the chorizo until browned, remove and set aside. Add chicken and brown on all sides and set aside. In the same pan, make the sofrito by sauteing the onions, garlic, and parsley. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on a medium heat. Then add the tomatoes and cook until mixture caramelizes a bit and the flavors meld. Fold in rice and stir-fry to coat the grains. Pour in water and simmer for 10 minutes, gently moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid. Add chicken, chorizo, and saffron. Add the mussels and shrimps tucking them into the rice. Let simmer without stirring until the rice is almost done (about 15 minutes). During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the lobster tails (optional) and the shrimps.Remove from heat and garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.

Note: The last 5 minutes of cooking, turn the heat up to toast the bottom (socarrat). If you don't like seafood or are allergic to them, you can also make this recipe with just the chicken.