TRADITIONAL PAELLA RECIPE (bilingual text)

Traditional paella originated in the Valencia region of Spain. It’s believed that its origins are a blend of Roman and Arab influences. The Romans introduced irrigation in this area and the Arabs brought rice. The rest of the ingredients would be what was local to the region and accessible for the peasants who traditionally cooked paella whilst working in the fields. It was cooked on an open fire. That’s the reason why the pan developed its special shape, wider so as to cook evenly and aid the liquid absorption over the fire. Traditionally, twigs and wood from the local orange trees were used to build the fire.

Nowadays, paella is eaten all throughout Spain, especially on special family occasions or even Sundays as a treat. Usually it’s the men in the household who are in charge of making paella.

The following recipe is traditional paella. It’s a fairly easy dish to cook.There are many different variations, which include seafood, just chicken or vegetarian.

ENGLISH VERSION SPANISH VERSION

Ingredients for 12 people

5 tbsp. Olive oil
Salt
Water
1 tbsp. Pimentón (smoked paprika)
1 tin chopped tomatoes Tomate triturado
2 sprigs rosemary 2 ramitas de romero
1 chicken
½ rabbit
500grs green beans
500grs lime beans
6 artichokes (optional)
500grs snails (optional)

How to make paella valenciana

A good paella always starts by preparing a good base or “sofrito”. The sofrito is made by frying the chicken, rabbit and both kinds of beans in the olive oil. At this point, fry the artichokes and snails if using them. Add the salt and pimenton towards the end, when the meat is golden. Finally, add the tomatoes and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.

Then it’s time to add water to the sofrito. Add the saffron, put the heat up and let it cook for 25 to 30 minutes.The amount of water you need depends on how high the fire is and how big your paella pan is, but as a rule of thumb have three times the amount of rice you are using.

Then, add the rosemary and the rice and cook for approximately 20 minutes. The aim is for the rice to absorb all the liquid.

Turn the heat off, cover with a cloth and let it rest for 10 minutes.

ESPANOL

Ingredientes para 12 personas

5 cucharadas de aceite de oliva
sal
agua
1 cucharada de pimentón
azafrán
2 ramitas de romero
1 kilo y medio de arroz bomba
1 pollo
½ conejo
500grs alubias verdes
500grs garrofó
6 alcachofas (opcional)
500grs caracoles (opcional)

Cómo hacer paella valenciana

Toda paella que se precie comienza por un buen sofrito. Se sofríe en abundante aceite el pollo, el conejo, las judías, las alcachofas y los caracoles , sazonando con un poco de sal y pimentón hacia el final. Cuando esté bien dorado se añade el tomate triturado y se rehoga.

Con el sofrito listo se debe de añadir el agua. Las proporciones dependen mucho del fuego pero por regla general son tres veces la cantidad de arroz. Echamos ahora algunos troncos más al fuego para que suba de potencia, el azafrán y dejamos que se haga bien el caldo durante 25 o 30 minutos.

Luego añadimos el arroz y lo distribuimos por la paella. Lo cocemos durante 20 minutos, aunque aquí el tiempo lo marca de nuevo el grano de arroz y la potencia del fuego, que debemos ir dejando consumirse. Tiene que quedar completamente seco.

Por último, conviene dejar la paella reposar unos minutos tapada.

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