Paella alla Valenciana or Valencian paella is a famous Spanish rice dish. Paella is both a Valencian and a Catalan word which derived from the French word paelle and Latin word patella for pan. There are three widely known types of paella; Valencian, Marisco and Mixta (Mix). Valencian paella consists green veggies and land-based protein, Marisco paella consist almost seafood, while Mixta paella consist the mixed ingredients.
Paella alla Valenciana or authentic Valencian Paella using short-grain white rice like bomba, calasparra or arborio rice along with land protein and veggies. Common meat on it is rabbit, chicken, or duck, but the authentic version may contains game meat like hare, venison, pheasant, quail, or land snails. The common veggies for Valencian paella is many kind of beans, broccoly, carrot, artichoke, fern, bell pepper, tomato, or green peas. Other optional ingredients on valencian paella is chorizo or meat sausages.
Valencian paella without escargot or land snail or bekicot in Bahasa is not quite “alla valenciana” for me. Paella with mostly snails rather than meat is consider as poorer version, however, sometimes used nothing more than snails for meat. Finding escargot isn’t that easy in Indonesia, unless you’ve generous enought to visiting inported gourmet supermarket. I purchased a couple of small tin of escargot snail or daging bekicot kalengan once i luckily spot it on Carrefour Supermarket Palembang. This canned escargot or snail in chilli sauce is a product of WONG COCO®, a trusted Indonesian food company. If you lucky enought to access the live snail, you should keep it on a clean box without any food for cleaning it’s intestine prior to cooking. You could use the African land snail that available in most asian country too, i’ve using it for my French Style ESCARGOT Recipe and i guess like it for it’s chewy and yet crunchy texture.
Valencian paella seasoning basically contains saffron threads, fresh rosemary, sweet or smoked paprika powder, garlic, shallots, salt, freshly grounded peppercorn, olive oil and water or stock. Saffron is the key ingredients of authentic paella, nothing could replace the pungent safranal aromas, but you can replace it with turmeric powder only for it’s yellow color. I guess you should invest on good grade Spanish or Italian saffron called “zafferano dell’Aquila” for your kitchen spice rack, trust me, it’s worth for the money.
Making paella alla valenciana is quite tricky, simply because it’s contains several meat and vegetables that needed different time to cooking. Basically, the tougher meat and veggies is sauteed and cooked in liquid with the rice, while the easily cooked ingredients is placed over the nearly cooked rice. I’m using short grain red rice for making this paella recipe, that’s why i need prolonged the soaking process for about 1 hour instead of 30 minutes. The asian red rice contains more fibre then it isn’t as easy to tenderised the regular short grain rice. You could see the step by step pictorial making paella on my Seafood Paella alla Marisco Recipe.
The best part of paella is the layer of charred and toasted (blackened) rice at the bottom of the pan called socarrat in Spain. The The toasted rice develops on its own if the paella is cooked over a burner or open fire. If cooked in an oven, however, it will not, but you can made the socarrat by exposing the the pan over a high flame while listening to the rice toast at the bottom of the pan. Once the aroma of toasted rice wafts upwards, remove it from the heat, then the paella must then sit with lid covered for about ten minutes before serving. Some recipes call for paella to be covered and left to settle for five or ten minutes after cooking.
Recipe Paella alla Valenciana, Valencian Paella with Chicken, Rabbit, Snail and Veggies Recipe:
- 1 1/2 cups short grain red rice (you can replace with regular short grain rice)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup chicken breast, diced
- 1 cup rabbit meat, diced
- 1/2 cup snail meat (approzimately 20 snails), cleaned
- 2 chorizo, cut 1 inch thick
- 1/2 cup diced carrot
- 1 cup diced broccoly florset
- 1/4 cup diced french bean
- 1/4 cup diced fern
- 1 medium tomatoes, diced
- 10 cherry tomato, halved
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemarry, finely chopped
- a pinch of saffron, soaked in cold water
- 2-3 cups chicken broth
- 2 tbsp olive oil
How to Make Valencian Paella:
- Wash and clean the red rice in running water until the water is comes clear, let is soaked in water for about 1 hour prior to cooking, drained well
- Heat up the olive oil in a pan, fry the chicken and rabbit at medium heat until golden brown.
- Add the garlic, onion, shallots, carrot, snail or escargot and chorizo half way, sautee until the shallots and onion is tenderand translucent
- Add the red rice and saute it until slighly browned and toasted.
- Pour 1 cup stock, season it with soaked saffron, rosemarry, salt and peper, let it boil and simmer for approximately 10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Add another cup of broth and bring it to boil and evaporates
- Add the rest of the ingredients in the pan, pour the remaining stock and cover the paella with lid, let it simmer until the rice is tender
- Add more water if necessary until the rice is throughly cooked
- For the last 1 to 2 minutes increase the heat to medium-high, until the bottom layer of rice starts to caramelize, creating what Valencians call socarrat, if the rice starts to burn remove the pan from the heat immediately.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for about 10 minutes prior to serving.