Paella is a dish that is immediately associated with Spanish cuisine. Paella is often thought of as the national dish outside the country. It originated from the Spanish region of Valencia. The traditional version was made with easy to obtain ingredients like snails, rabbits, and green vegetables as well as their Valencian rice.
The traditional version is not the one that is famous throughout the world, it is the one with seafood and other meats that has become renown. It is truly a dish that is as beautiful to look at as it is to eat.
In many areas of Spain you will find parks and beaches set up with Paella pits. It is a common pastime to relax and enjoy the out of doors while your paella is cooking away on the open fire.
The name comes paella comes from the wide shallow round pan it is cooked in. I highly recommend you have one to properly present and cook this dish. You can pick one up here. You can also get a whole paella set up with a burner as well. This is perfect if you are not in Spain near a Paella pit but want to have an authentic paella experience for just you or a crowd.
Saffron is used in this decadent dish and make sure to use the strands that come from Spain. Just a few strands are needed and is an important piece to the paella. Saffron is grown in Spain and is extremely expensive, the most expensive spice in the world. Thankfully a little goes a long way, you can get authentic saffron strands here.
Of course, you will want to use the freshest of seafood for this amazing dish. It is truly spectacular and I truly hope you have the opportunity to make it. It is a long list of ingredients, but absolutely worth the effort. Paella is the perfect dish to share with friends and makes a lovely presentation for any occasion.
If you would like to learn more about the beautiful and fascinating country of Spain be sure to check out Our Journey to Spain. There you will also find more Spanish recipes like Garlic Shrimp, Octopus with Potatoes, gazpacho and more.
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- 6 cups chicken stock preferably homemade
- ½ teaspoon saffron Spanish strands
- 1 small onion peeled
- 2 lbs chicken pieces
- salt coarse
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ pound chorizo sausage cut in ¼ inch slices
- 1 large pork chop boned and diced
- ¼ lb cured ham piece diced
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 4 scallions chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 pimientos diced
- 1 pound small or medium shrimp shelled.
- 4 lobster tails or 8 king crab legs 8 jumbo shrimp in the shell
- 3 cups short-grain rice
- 5 tablespoons parsley chopped
- 2 bay leaves crumbled
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ pound fresh or frozen peas
- 18 clams scrubbed
- 18 Mussels scrubbed
- Lemon wedges for garnish
- Chopped parsley for garnish
- Heat the broth with the saffron and the whole onion. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes.
- Remove the onion and measure the broth. You need exactly 5 ½ cups.
- Cut the chicken pieces into serving sizes Dry the pieces well and sprinkle with salt.
- In a metal paella pan with a 16 inch base heat the oil.
- Add the chicken pieces and fry over high heat until golden. Remove to a warm platter.
- Add the chorizo, pork and ham to the pan and fry for another 10 minutes
- Add in the chopped onion, scallions, garlic and pimientos and sauté until the onion is wilted.
- Add the shrimp and the lobster and sauté about 3 minutes or until they barely turn pink.
- Remove the shrimp and lobster to the platter with the chicken.
- Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat it well with the oil.
- Sprinkle in the 5 tablespoons chopped parsley and the crumbled bay leaves. (you can do all this up to this point ahead of time if you wish)
- Stir in the broth, boiling hot, the wine, lemon juice, and peas. Salt to taste.
- Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, over medium/high heat about 7 minutes or until the rice is no longer soupy but still some liquid remains.
- Bury the shrimp and chicken in the rice. Push the clams and mussels into the rice, with the edge that will open facing up.
- Decorate the Paella with the lobster pieces , crab or large shrimp, then bake at 325 degrees F. uncovered for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let sit on top of the stove, lightly covered with foil for about 10 minutes.
- Serve with lemon wedges and garnish with chopped parsley.