Today we are going to present one of the most famous Spanish dishes recognized the world over: paella. Before starting, we should point out that this is a traditional dish from the area of Alicante, and it is what we usually eat on Sundays for our family get-togethers. Here in Alicante, you will always find it a huge variety of paella on menus in bars and restaurants, like for example, one made with shellfish (the most common), or with rabbit or chicken, the “black” paella (made with squid ink), one that’s made with snails…. and the list goes on!
In order to surprise your friends with this amazing dish (for 4 people… or however many come), you should start with the following ingredients: Bomba rice (a rice that is cultivated in the Valencian region), chicken breast and thighs, pork ribs, green and red bell peppers, garlic cloves, lemons, water, olive oil, salt, pepper, strands of saffron, sprig of parsley and a bit of patience. Don’t get discouraged; with some practice your paella will be a success. And oh! Don’t expect exact measurements. In Spain if you ask the master chef in the family, she will always answer “Just eyeball it!” So, taste some times and if you think that something is missing, just put more.
So let’s get started!
First of all, cut the meat and vegetables into small pieces and season them with a good dose of salt and pepper. Afterwards, put them in the paella pan with a generous amount of oil. When you see they’re turning golden brown add the wine, if it is local wine much better. Mix everything during a minute, and then add water and wait another 30 minutes to make the broth. Meanwhile adjust the salt to your taste. Now it’s time for the star of the show: the rice! Pour in the whole package, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Mix it well so all the flavors can combine and let it simmer between 18 and 20 minutes. Cover with a clean cloth the paella pan and wait the time it takes you to have a glass of sangria. Finally, take off the cloth and add some cut lemon, a sprig of parsley and we’re sure you will have made a fantastic paella.