A good friend of mine lived in Spain for a long time and found the love of his life there. He also learned how to cook the most delicious paella from Juan Carlos of Valencia, who told him that paella used to be cooked on the rice fields surrounding Valencia, on open fires fueled with rice straw. At that time, the paella consisted of rice, very few vegetables and rat meat - a rather unsavory story which our children relish. - Sabine Mader
- a paella pan or other large pan (inner diameter, about 12 1/2 inches) or a muurikka
- a small mortar and pestle for the saffron
- a stable stand for the pan
3 chicken legs cut into pieces
1 small can pizza tomatoes
1 sprig of fresh rosemary, plus some for garnishing
1 - 3 garlic cloves
1 generous pinch sweet paprika
1 pinch freshly ground pepper
1/4 tspn cayenne pepper
1 handful green beans, stringed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 handful thick white beans. soaked the day before
about 6 1/2 cups of vegetable stock
2 1/2 cups short-grain paella rice
4 pinches saffron (saffron threads pestled and dissolved in warm water)
- Brown the chicken pieces in oil in a large pan or a paella pan.
- Add the tomatoes, rosemary, garlic, paprika, pepper, cayenne pepper, as well as the green and white beans, and let it all simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Now add half of the vegetable stock and season with salt (it should taste a bit too salty, as the saltiness will be reduced when the rice is added).
- Add the rice to the pan in a strip down the middle so that the chicken mixture is divided in two and some rice is on the surface. Then spread the rice over the paella.
- Dissolve the saffron in the remaining vegetable stock, gradually add it to the pan and let everything simmer until the rice is done. For an especially delicious flavor leave the paella over the heat so that it is lightly fried.
Small cooking fire with constant flames. Continuously add small branches or logs.
Recipe courtesy of Cook Wild by Susanne Fischer-Rizzi
Spain [ print this recipe for Juan-Carlos Paella ]