I love rice and so does my husband. We try to find different ways to prepare and enjoy this wonderful food. Through time, we found hundreds of recipes, some simple and some exotic, and have enjoyed preparing them. We've found some real winners, which I have published on this blog and some that are not so great, which are in my personal "do not" repeat folder. I have created this site to share those memorable dishes - which are all about this wonderful food called "rice".

Paella Valenciana

There are so many paella recipes out there it just boggles the mind.  I tried several that I found in cookbooks and have watched several chefs on the FoodNetwork take a stab at it. I find the short cut versions just does not have the flavors that you get when you fix the true version.  Even in Spain, depending on the regions, the paella can vary as well.  Paella Valenciana is from the Valencia region.  The ingredients are extensive and it can get expensive, but worth it for those special occassions.  Even if you do not have the paella pan, you can make this fabulous dish. Don't skimp on the ingredients, it's what make this dish fabulous. Eaten al fresco with chilled Sangria, what more can you ask for?

1 lb of chicken (cut into pieces)
1 Spanish chorizo (sliced) - Chorizo de Balbao
1 medium onion (minced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
3 tomatoes (chopped) or 1 14oz can of chopped tomatoes
1 large red bell pepper (chopped)
1 lb shrimp in shell or use 1/2 peeled/ 1/2 in shell
1 lb mussels or clams (bearded and clean or frozen in shell)
1 tblsp paprika
2 cups of long grain rice (soaked in cold water for 1 hour)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp saffron threads soaked in 1/4 cup warm water
1 1/3 cup shelled peas (fresh or frozen)
Salt and pepper
2 tblsp olive oil

3 cups of chicken broth
1 tblsp parsley (chopped) for garnish

1 lb cooked lobster meat (reduce shrimp to 1/2; reduce shellfish in 1/2)
1/2 lb of pork shoulder (cut in pieces) can replace 1/2 of the chicken

In a large pan, heat oil.  Lightly fry chorizo until edges are a light brown. Remove from pan and set aside.  Fry chicken pieces in batches until evenly browned. Do not crowd. (If using pork, fry pork pieces until evenly browned and transfer with chicken).  Remove chicken pieces and transfer to the same plate as the chorizo. Add onions and stir constantly until translucent (2-3 minutes), then add the garlic.  Continue to fry for another minute, stirring constantly.  Add paprika and stir for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and bell peppers.  Cook for 6-8 minutes.  Mixture should start to thicken.  Drain rice and add to the pan. Stir until rice is coated with the spices and tomato mixture for approximately 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the chicken broth, lemon juice and the saffron thread soaked in warm water.   Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce the heat to low/simmer.  Add the chicken, chorizo and peas to the pan. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occassionally.  Add the shell fish and shrimp (I usually arrange it to make it look like the picture), continue to cook for another 10 minutes or until liquid is completely absorbed.  If using lobster, add them to the last 5 minutes of the cooking process. Remove cover, sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve in the pan. 

Note: If rice is not tender, add a 1/4 cup of chicken broth or water, stir and continue to cook covered in low heat for another 10 minutes. If using fresh mussels or clams, discard any unopen shells.

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