Paella Valenciana

Paella Valenciana is a classic Spanish dish. In Valencia they have lots of rice dishes, but this is the most famous one. Most people think of seafood when they think about paella, but this is a so called land-paella, which contains chicken and rabbit as a protein source. In the Netherlands rabbit, especially tasty rabbit, is quite difficult to get hold of, therefore I used only chicken. Real paella rice is also difficult to get hold of in the Netherlands, so I used risotto rice (arborio), which works fine. Officially, the artichokes don’t belong in there, but the paella I ate in Spain had them, and I liked that a lot, so I added them in this recipe too. I used canned marinated artichoke hearts for ease (they are cooked already, so you drain them and add them to the dish), but you can also use frozen (not available around here) or not-marinated canned (the ones over here are very acidic and not properly cooked, that is why I use the marinated ones).
Paella is a dry dish made in a shallow, wide pan over wood fire. Ideally, after the rice is added, it shouldn’t be stirred any more. This results in quite a dry dish (not wet like risotto!), with a golden crust on the bottom. I don’t own a special paella pan, but using a large skillet instead works fine. Unfortunately, mastering the art of making paella without stirring is quite difficult, and tends to end up in having a black crust on the bottom, effectively ruining your paella. That is why I advice to stir regularly, especially at the end of cooking time, when the dish starts to be quite dry, making it prone to sticking. To make the dish real authentic, cook the rice al punto (like the Italian al dente). Enjoy!

Paella Valenciana (serves 6)
Adapted from Koken met

500 g chicken (preferably with bone, in 6 pieces)
500 g rabbit (preferably with bone, in 6 pieces)
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 fat cloves of garlic, sliced
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp pimentón de la Vera dulce
200 g broad beans
400 g runner beans, in bits of 4 cm
200 g artichoke hearts
1,4 l hot chicken stock
1 pinch saffron (about 20 threads), soaked in 2 tbsp hot water
400 g paella rice
salt and pepper

Sprinkle chicken and rabbit with salt. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Fry the meat in about 7 minutes brown on all sides.
Turn the heat down and add the garlic, tomatoes and pimenton. Fry while stirring for about 2 minutes. Add the broad beans, runner beans and artichoke hearts. Pour the stock into the pan, bring to the boil and leave to bubble for 10 minutes (without lid).
Add the saffron water. Sprinkle the rice into the pan and stir so that it is distributed evenly around the meat and vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil again and leave to cook for another 10 minutes (without lid). Turn the heat down and let cook for another 8 minutes. When it really gets too dry, add a splash of water. Take from the heat and cover with a clean tea towel, leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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