Authentic Paella Recipes

by charlottehills

The history of Spain's most iconic dish, and three authentic recipes

Paella is one of Spain’s most popular dishes, loved for its fresh flavors and ability to bring families together. Creating authentic paella is much quicker and simpler than people think, and its something the whole family loves to get involved with. This article contains three authentic paella recipes that I learnt during my childhood in Spain. It also gives a brief overview of the traditons and history behind this fantastic Spanish dish.

Traditional Paella Recipes

Authentic Spanish paella is full of flavors, textures and colors. It's one of the oldest and most traditional recipes in Spain, and a large part of the country's culture. Paella is a dish that brings family and friends together; it's cooked as a family and eaten as a family, with everybody gathered around the same table and helping themselves from the dish.

Paella originated from the province of Valencia. It's said to have been cooked and eaten by workers in the Valencian fields, and was made using a mixture of snails, chicken, duck, pork and rabbit (depending on what they could afford). The popular seafood paella and mixed paella evolved from this dish. 


To learn more about Valencia, click here take a look at the Lonely Planet's guide to this beautiful province.

Paella Valenciana Recipe

Serves 4 - 6

This is the traditional paella from which all other variations came from. The quanties of meat, vegetables and rice should be used as a guide, but you can change them depending on how many people you're cooking for. To create a truely authentic taste, this paella recipe should be cooked in a paella pan.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ a chicken, chopped into bite sized chunks
½ a rabbit, chopped into bite sized chunks (pork can be used as an alternative)
2 cloves of garlic
2 onions
1 chopped beef tomato
1 -2 handfuls of green beans
1 handful of peas (fresh or frozen)
½ - 1 can of butterbeans
3 cups paella rice
1 teaspoon of saffron
1 cup white wine or dry cherry
5 cups of chicken stock
1 lemon

Heat some extra virgin olive oil in the paella pan, and fry the meat until it's browned. Remove the meat and place to one side.

Fry the vegetables (apart from the peas) on a medium until they begin to soften.

Add the rice to the paella pan. Coat the rice in the oil and flavors, and sprinkle over the saffron. This gives the paella its famous yellow color.

Add the peas to the dish.

Pour the wine / sherry and stock over the rice. Simmer the paella with the lid on until, until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is soft and cooked. All rice cooks at different times, so consult the instructions on the back of the rice pack for a guide. The longer and slower it is cooked for, the more flavor it absorbs.

Remove the pan from the heat. Halve the lemon and squeeze it over the paella. Be careful to remove any seeds that might fall into the dish.


Bring the paella to the table, and let everybody help themselves from the pan.

Paella Pans

Authentic paella is always cooked in a paella pan. These pans are specifically designed for cooking paella, and the concept of everyone gathering around the paella pan is an integral part of the eating experience.
Garcima 15-Inch Carbon Steel Paella Pan, 38cm

Serves 3 to 5 people. The pan is made of carbon steel (aka polished steel, or acero pulido), which is ideal for paella since it conducts heat quickly and evenly. The pan is thin...

Only $13.34
La Paella 18" Pata Negra Restaurant Grade Paella Pan, Large, Silver

Serves 6 to 8 people. This 18" (45 cm) pata negra paella pan will fit over two closely spaced standard burners, or sometimes over one and a half burners. It also fits in some ho...

$53.00  $43.05
The Hungry Cuban Paella Pan 15" 38cm Carbon Steel, Red Handle, Made in Spain, Best Size for Home ...

Made from hammered carbon steel with a dimpled bottom which distributes the heat quickly and evenly, making it the most common and popular type of paella pan in Spain. Carbon st...

$44.95  $31.95

Paella Marsco (seafood) Recipe

Serves 4 - 6

This is one of the most popular paella recipes, and is served all over Spain. The key to making a great paella marsco is to use the freshest seafood available.

 Extra virgin olive oil
1lb uncooked prawns
12 - 16 mussels
12 baby squid (use squid rings as alternative)
2 cloves of garlic
2 onions
2 red peppers
1 diced beef tomato
1 handful of peas
1 handful of green beans
Butterbeans
1 teaspoon of saffron
3 cups of paella rice
1 cup of white wine / dry sherry
5 cups of fish stock
1 lemon
Seasoning (to taste)

Clean the muscles. Closed muscles are fresher and open ones should be avoided if they don't close when you tap them on a hard surface.
Heat some extra virgin olive oil in the paella pan, and fry the prawns until they begin to turn pink.

Add the squid and fry for another three minutes.

Remove the seafood and set it aside. Add the vegetables (apart from the peas) and fry until they have softened.

Add the rice and fry for one minute with a pinch of saffron.

Add the seafood back into the pan and pour over the liquid.

Add the muscles and simmer the paella until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice cooked.

Cut and squeeze the lemon over the dish and season. This brings the paella together and makes a huge difference.

Serve the paella in its dish, with some crusty bread on the side.

Paella Mixta (mixed) Recipe

Serves 4 - 6

This is a great paella recipe for people who enjoy both meat and seafood. There is a fantastic mix of flavors, textures and colors in this dish, making it a rich eating experience.

Extra virgin olive oil
½ 1lb prawns
6 - 8 Mussels
8 - 12 baby squid (use squid rings as alternative)
¼ of a chicken
¼ of a rabbit (use pork as an alternative)
2 onion
2 garlic cloves
2 red peppers
1 handful of peas
1 handful of green beans
½ - 1 can of butterbeans
1 diced beef tomato
1 teaspoon of saffron
3 cups of paella rice
1 cup white wine / dry sherry
5 cups of chicken stock (twice the amount as of rice)

Heat some extra virgin olive oil in the paella pan, and fry the meat and prawn until colored.

Add the squid and fry for three minutes.

Remove the meat and seafood, and place to one side. In the same paella pan, fry the vegetables until softened.

Add the rice and more extra virgin olive oil if needed. Sprinkle over the paprika and coat the rice in the all the flavors for one minute.

Add the meat and seafood into the pan again, and pour over the liquid. Clean the muscles and add them to the pan.

Simmer the paella until the rice is cooked and the muscles have opened.

Squeeze over the lemon and season to taste. Take to the table and enjoy with family and friends.

Spanish Cooking Books

For more authentic Spanish recipes, take a look at some of these fantastic books
Cúrate: Authentic Spanish Food from an American Kitchen

The vibrant flavors of Spain brought into the American home kitchen by a young lauded chef and founder of one of America's most acclaimed new restaurantsKatie Button debuts her ...

$35.00  $16.90
Tapas (Revised): The Little Dishes of Spain

Penelope Casas, who introduced the classic little dishes of Spain to American cooks more than twenty years ago, now gives us a splendid updated edition of that seminal book—with...

$30.00  $13.17
Made in Spain: Spanish Dishes for the American Kitchen

Americans have fallen in love with Spanish food in recent years, and no one has done more to play matchmaker than the award-winning chef José Andrés. In this irresistible compan...

$35.00  $16.20
Updated: 04/26/2012, charlottehills
 
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?
1

Comments


   Login

You might also like

Pineapple Stir-Fry Chicken Served With Pork-Fried Rice Recipe

Two easy to follow healthy recipes that are both stir-fried. Fresh pineapple ...

Cooking Your Own Tongue: A Tongue In Cheek Recipe For Cooking ...

Cooking your own tongue is the natural way to obtain the best results. Cookin...


Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...
Error!