Traditional Spanish Paella Valenciana
Created by Kari Ray
I’m super excited to write this post! Paella holds a near and dear place in my heart. My family and I actually just moved to America from Spain where we lived for the past 2 years. And what an amazing experience it was! We strolled down cobblestoned streets and ate at outdoor cafes almost daily. Plus I learned to make authentic Spanish Paella in the kitchen of a dear Spanish friend. So it is with great excitement that I’m sharing this recipe with you and I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.
Traditional Spanish cuisine is simple, down-to-earth food using ingredients available locally and regionally grown crops. Spain was shaped by the uniting of several small kingdoms, each with their own culture and food traditions. This creates a diverseness in cuisine throughout the land. Paella originated in the region of Valencia where rice dominates the menu. It is typically cooked in a large flat pan where the rice is infused with the delicious flavors of paprika and saffron.
- 2-3 tbs olive oil
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 cup fresh uncooked green beans, washed and ends trimmed
- 2 ½ cups short-grain rice, preferably Valencia or bomba
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbs smoked paprika
- ½ tsp saffron, crushed
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1-2 cups water (more or less as needed)
- 1 cup artichoke hearts, drained
- About 3-4 jarred roasted red peppers, cut into strips
- Smoked paprika for sprinkling
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Heat the oil in the paella pan over medium heat, then add and brown the chicken pieces on both sides. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
- Add the tomato and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add the green beans and continue cooking 2-3 minutes.
- Pour the chicken broth into the pan. Add the salt, paprika and saffron and combine.
- Position the beans the way you’d like them to appear in the final dish.
- Sprinkle in the rice evenly around the dish. DO NOT STIR.
- Once the mixture begins to bubble, position the chicken pieces in the pan followed by the artichokes and then top with the peppers.
- Cook uncovered on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered on low for about 15-20 more minutes or until the rice is done. If water absorbs completely and rice is not yet tender, continue to add water a little bit at a time until rice is done.
- When the rice is done, increase the heat for a few minutes to further caramelize the bottom, creating the crispy golden-browned bottom or “socarrat”
Sprinkle with some smoked paprika and serve with lemon wedges.