Paella Valenciana (Metric)

Customary version of recipe

Yields 8 generous portions

Ingredient Amount
Lima beans (broad beans), dried, soaked overnight in 2.5 liters water and drained 425 ml.
Salt, divided use 92 ml.
Rabbit (about 900 g) 1 ea.
Olive oil, extra virgin 125 ml.
Chicken, large (about 2 kg), cut into 8 pieces 1 ea.
Black pepper, freshly ground 10 ml.
Tomatoes, ripe, peeled and puréed 4 ea.
Onions, chopped 325 ml.
Garlic, minced 12 ml.
Green beans (preferably flat Romano beans) 675 ml.
Water, plus more as needed 2.5 to 3 liters
Rosemary sprig 1 ea.
Saffron, generous pinches 2 ea.
Bomba rice 1 liter

Method

  1. Bring 2.5 liters of water to boil over medium-high heat and add the dried beans. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until just tender, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Stir in 10 ml. of salt and let rest in their liquid for about 30 minutes before draining.
  2. Cut up the rabbit: Cut off the hind legs, using a sharp boning knife to slice between each leg and the hip joint. Cut each hind leg into two pieces, slicing at the joint between the thigh and leg. Cut off the front legs, slicing between each leg and the shoulder joint. Cut the body into three sections: ribs, loin, and bottom using a heavy meat cleaver. Cut the loin in half, then cut the ribs in half through the breast and backbone, then cut each half in half.
  3. Prepare a wood (or charcoal) fire and heat the oil in a large paella pan set over the hottest part of the fire. Season the chicken and rabbit with 10 ml. each of salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and rabbit and fry over medium-high heat, turning the meat to brown on all sides evenly, 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes, onions, garlic, and green beans and continue to cook over medium heat until the beans are nearly tender, about 15 minutes. Add 2.5 liters of water and the rosemary sprig and move to the hottest part of the grill, or rearrange or add coals to raise the heat to high. Cover the pan with a grill lid.
  5. Remove the lid when the water comes to a boil. Stir in 12 ml. of salt and the saffron, then sprinkle the rice evenly around the pan directly into the liquid, avoiding the meat.
  6. Add the broad beans. Stir gently one time only to evenly distribute the rice (do not stir again). Remove the rosemary.
  7. Cook, uncovered, turning the pan one-quarter turn every 5 minutes to help ensure even heat distribution. Cook the rice over high heat for 10 minutes, or until the water is almost absorbed, then move to a cooler part of the grill and cook at a gentle simmer over low heat for another 10 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid. The rice should be al dente whe it is done; if it is too firm when the liquid is absorbed, add additional water 250 ml. at a time, continuing cooking until the rice is done. During this period, keep the heat at a level that allows the liquid to simmer gently.
  8. Remove the paella from the heat, and cover and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve about 500 ml. of rice and vegetables and 1 piece each of the rabbit and chicken for each of 8 servings in large heated soup bowls. Or place the warm paella pan on the table and allow guests to serve themselves.

Additional tips

Recipe credit: Rafael Vidal for Comunitat Valenciana, as presented at the Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival. Published with permission of the author. All rights reserved. Presented at the World Marketplace on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2006.

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