Try Paella – the most famous Spanish dish, originally invented in our beautiful Valencia!

If you ask foreigners about typical Spanish dishes, Paella would definitely come up. Travelling through Spain, you will always find restaurants serving this famous dish in various ways – it doesn´t matter if you are in Madrid, on the outskirts of town or in the countryside. Interestingly, most people do not know where this dish originally comes from – from beautiful Valencia!
The Valencian Paella is made with rice, chicken, rabbit, flat green beans… It is traditionally cooked over an open fire fueled by orange and pine branches. It gives paella this exceptional taste!
You will find many authentic restaurants in Valencia, where you can try the Valencian Paella. If you want to taste it at the “real place of origin”, you should go to Albufera – the place where the first Paella was cooked.
Of course, you can also try to cook it yourself. What about cooking it with your friends or colleagues? Paella is a very “social” dish – Valencian families use to eat it all together on Sundays, sharing the food, often eating from the same Paella pan and having a good time together. The recipes are shared over generations, creating various versions of an authentic Valencian Paella. If you’d like to give it a try, we found a popular recipe at visitvalencia.com for you:

Ingredients (4 portions):

  • 3 Cups: Rice
  • 1 Cup: Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • 1 Chicken (cut into pieces)
  • 1 Rabbit (cut into pieces)
  • 300 Grams: Fresh Green Beans (Ferradura)
  • 1 Medium Tomato
  • 1 Tablespoon: Sweet Paprika
  • Saffron
  • 6 Cups: Water
  • 200 Grams: Lima Beans (Garrafon)
  • Salt
  • Bunch of Rosemary

You will see that it is quite common to add further ingredients like snails, duck or artichokes to the Valencian Paella – you can try whatever you prefer.

To cook the Paella, you can follow these steps:

First of all, start with heating the oil over a low flame in a paella pan (you can easily get one for example at the Mercado Central).
Sauté the rabbit and the chicken for about 5 minutes.
Now, add the chopped vegetables, beans, the grated tomato (and optionally the artichokes) to the pan and fry it for several minutes, so you get a smooth sauté. Then, add some water and the paprika and fry it for a minute.
Now, it is all about the taste: Add the saffron and salt plus the garrofon beans and turn the heat up – leaving it to boil for about 15 minutes.
Optionally, you can add the snails.
The next step is to add the rice. Again, boil it for about 15 minutes. You should taste it to make sure if you need more salt etc. and you can add the rosemary during the last 7-8 minutes, giving the Paella an exceptional taste. Remove it from the pan before eating.
The Paella is finished when there is less liquid left, but the mixture should not be completely dry. If you want to get a crispy caramelised bottom, the so-called socarrat, you should cook it a bit longer over a low flame.

Good luck! We hope you will enjoy your first Valencian Paella!

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