How to Make Paella Valenciana

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Paella is a Spanish rice dish originally made by field workers. True paellas are made outdoors over open fires, but at home a simpler version can be made in one large skillet. Paella Valenciana has come to mean a seafood or shellfish paella. This recipe serves 6 to 8.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 small chopped onions
  • 2 cups rice
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oils
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 pound large shrimp
  • skillets
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 cups chicken stocks
  • 1/4 pound sliced linguica sausages
  • 3/4 pound cherrystone clams
  • 5-6 saffron strands
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh thyme
  • 1 small chopped red bell peppers
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups clam juice
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 pound, or so, mussels
  • Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
  • Skillets
  • Place the saffron strands in a small cup and cover with 1/2 c. hot water.

  • Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet at least 11 inches in diameter.

  • When hot, add the sausage and brown it. Remove to paper towels and drain.

  • Add the garlic to the oil and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

  • Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for about 1 minute.

  • Add the dry spices, the thyme and half the parsley.

  • Continue to cook until the vegetables are tender, about 2 minutes more.

  • Add the rice and stir together, coating each grain of rice.

  • When the rice is shiny, add the saffron and its water.

  • Add the clam juice and chicken stock.

  • Bring to a boil, lower to a slow simmer and cover. Cook for about 25 minutes, stirring off the bottom occasionally so the rice doesn't burn.

  • The last time you stir the rice before it's done, stir in the tomato.

  • While the rice cooks, rinse the shellfish well under cold water. It isn't necessary to peel and devein the shrimp, but you can if you like. It is necessary to trim any external "beard" from the mussels.

  • When rice is tender but still firm to the bite (taste some to tell), add the shellfish.

  • Tuck each shrimp under the surface of the rice, then arrange the clams on top. Cover for 1 minute.

  • Shut off the heat, arrange the mussels and remaining parsley on top, then re-cover and bring the skillet to the table.

  • The mussels and clams will steam open. When they open, they're ready to eat. Discard those that don't open.

Tips & Warnings

  • In Spain this dish is often made with a short-grain rice similar to Arborio. You can also use converted rice, but stay away from Asian-style sticky rices, which will turn to glop.
  • Be careful not to overcook the seafood, especially the mussels. They take only a few minutes to cook, which they'll do from the rice's residual steam.

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