Sueca, Valencia: Traditional Mountain Paella
To all of those who have expressed interest in the traditional recipe and had questions on the merging of mountain and sea products, this is the traditional recipe from hill country where the shepherds in Sueca, Valencia first prepared the dish in medieval times.
The cooking of paella is always a fusion of ritual and festival, and is often an opportunity for culinary debate. There are as many paella dishes, as there are cooks or chefs. This recipe is for 15 people, as it is unheard of, to make a paella for two.
Paella Valenciana for 15:
3 kilos or 6 1/2 lbs. of chicken
3 kilos or 6 1/2 lbs. of rabbit
4 dozen snails ( optional to availability )
3 pounds 5 ounces or 1.5 kilos of Butter beans
500 grams or 1 pound 2 ounces of Lima Beans
1 kilo or 2 1/4 pounds of Fava Beans / Broad Beans
4 DL. or 13 fl. ounces of extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves of garlic peeled and minced
4 ripe plum tomatoes
2 tsps smoked paprika sweet
1.5 kilos or 3 pounds 5 ounces of Valencian Arborio rice
Saffron strands - 12 threads to 15 strands
salt to taste
1 fresh sprig rosemary
1) cut the chicken and the rabbit into 30 evenly sized chunks and add salt and slowly sauté in a paella metal pan or clay earthenware with hot olive oil.
2) when meat is cooked thoroughly, add the vegetables and sauté them.
3) then add the garlic, smoked paprika and tomatoes seeded and peeled and chopped
4) add 7 1/2 pints or 4.5 Litres of chicken stock and the snails. Allow to cook 10 minutes.
5) Add the saffron threads and the rice, spreading out the rice in the cooking vessel, evenly
6) cook the whole mixture, over a medium to high flame for 8 minutes and then reduce heat, letting the paella simmer for 10 minutes more and allowing the " SOCARRAT " ( THE RICE CRUST ) to develop.
Serve with a Sangría, red wine of choice ( Garnacha ) and / or cold blonde beer.