How to Make Paella
This following recipe is a simple, easy to do paella containing both meat and seafood. It is a Valencian rice dish that originated in its modern form in the mid-19th century near lake Albufera, a lagoon in Valencia, 100km to the North. Many non-Spaniards view paella as Spain's national dish, but most Spaniards consider it to be a regional Valencian dish. Valencians, in turn, regard paella as one of their identifying symbols. There are three widely known types of paella: Valencian paella (Spanish: paella valenciana), seafood paella (Spanish: paella de marisco) and mixed paella (Spanish: paella mixta), but there are many others as well.
Ingredients, for 10 persons
1/2 a litre of Olive oil (unless you want to put on weight reduce this!)
250 grams chicken thighs (rabbit works better)
125 grams of red bell peppers
125 grams of tomatoes
5 Garlic cloves
125 grams of green beans
250 grams of shrimps
250 grams of mussels
250 grams of squid
250 grams Small clams
1KG of rice
2 litres of water
A bit of saffron
1.5 Tablespoons of salt
There are many ways to cook paella, in the same way that are many kinds of paella. If seafood is primarily used then we have a "Paella de mar", while a paella de campo" contains mainly meat. This following recipe is a simple, easy to do paella containing both meat and seafood.
1st Step The chicken should be browned in olive oil until it has taken a golden color. While chicken is browning cut peppers and tomatoes into small pieces (~ 1/2 an inch). Once chicken is browned, add the peppers and the tomatoes and continue to sauteed together with the chicken. Allow plenty of time, you know when it is time to move to the next step when the tomatoes and the peppers have the texture of a paste. Now is when the garlic is added. Instead of cuffing it, it is preferred to hammer it using the back of the knife. The motivation for following this order is the different time each ingredient takes to cook. The garlic cooks almost immediately, white the chicken may take 15 to 20 minutes. This way is slower, but provides you the occasion to enjoy a cup of wine while you cook with your friends.
2nd Step Now it is time to add the squid, shrimps, mussels, clams and the green beans to saute with the rest of the mixture. Note: fresh clams and mussels should be soaked in water for about 30 minutes to remove sand. In 20 more minutes we are ready to odd the rice and the water. The usual rule is 2.5 parts of water per 1 part of rice (in volume). Also include the salt at this point. It is preferred to add the salt in just one occasion, at the end. The reason is that by tasting the flavor of the water you can get an idea of how salty the poella will be. (If one was careful with the wine during the first step...) In Spain it is used 1.5 tablespoons of salt for 10 people. However, one has to remember that the meals ore usually more salty in Spain. Maybe it is more adequate to use 1 tablespoons of salt (start with 1 Thsp. you can always add later, hard to take away!.)
3rd Step Now it is time to decorate the paella with the usual yellow color. This is done by including the saffron. The saffron it is hammered first and then added to the boiling water, let stand for 20 minutes. After this point, the paella is left untouched. Stirring is not recommended, furthermore is preferred to hove part of the rice in the bottom of the pan lightly burned. This burned rice, called "socorat" provides a peculiar taste to the dish. The paella is done when the water has disappeared, both by evaporation and absorption by the rice. It is the tradition in order to prove to your friends that the paella is perfect, to lean the pan to the vertical position. A good paella is supposed to stick to the pan even in that position. This test should be skipped if the party is hungry!