Real Paella Not Risotto

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“A Paella, correctly pronounced "paelya" and not "payella" is probably the most famous dish of Spain and sadly enough nearly always wrongly described in cookbooks by star cooks as Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver. Traditionally, paellas were made as lunch in the field by sheperds and therefore did not contain any fish or crustacians. The following is an original recipe from the Valencia area. Paella is easy to make, very hard to go wrong and best of all is wonderful to prepare with your guests present while cooking and enjoying some good red wine. The hardest part of the recipe is that Spaniards firmly believe that making a paella is a mans job and you will therefore have to convince your husbands to drop any macho attitude they may have towards cooking and prepare lunch for you.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 12 rabbit, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 chicken thigh, chopped into pieces
  • 1 lb rib, chopped into pieces
  • 1 kg broad bean, broken into 2 inch pieces (not cut)
  • 2 liters boiling chicken stock (use chicken stock pastilles)
  • 750 g of round grain rice
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 red peppers
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of more olive oil, for the rice


  1. You wil need a large "paella" pan with a diameter of no less than 2ft, preferably 3ft. This is a nice and usefull souvenir to buy on your next holiday in Spain.
  2. Heat your paella pan on a gas fire or outside on a charcoal fire.
  3. Add the oil and garlic cloves.
  4. Once the oil is hot and the garlic is frying but not yet brown, add the green beans and mix with a big wooden spoon.
  5. Once the beans have been in the hot pan for a minute or two and are nicely covered with the garlicky oil, move them with help of the spoon to the outer edge of the pan - thus creating an empty space in the middle into which the raw rice is placed.
  6. Pour over the rice the olive oil and gently stir the rice in the middle of the pan for one minute.
  7. Then with same big wooden spoon, mix your rice and beans and once mixed spread it evenly in the pan.
  8. immediately, before things start burning, pour your chicken stock into the pan and once again make sure your rice and beans are more or less evenly spread in the pan.
  9. This is the last time the rice is touched before serving. Never ever stir again (a sacrilege in Spain!).
  10. Now evenly place your chopped meat into the boiling chicken stock containing the rice and beans.
  11. Then take your strips of paprika and decorate the paella by laying them once around the pan and also in diagonal spokes (just like a bicycle wheel).
  12. Let the chicken stock reduce and the rice start appearing and before things run dry or the rice is cooked - take tha pan off the fire and cover with newspaper.
  13. The paella is now in "tiempo de reposo" or "resting time" which will take 5 minutes. In this time, the rice will soak up the rest of the stock and be just right or "en su punto" as Spaniards would say. Just right means not overcooked and ith the slightest bit of crunch still left in them.

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