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Category: Main courses

Paella, Valencia Style

Just south of Valencia, on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, lies the Albufera, a freshwater lake separated from the sea by a spit of land. More than a thousand years ago, the Moors introduced the cultivation of rice in the ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour | Serves 4 to 6
Note: You can substitute chicken breasts for the duck breast, if you prefer.
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen large lima beans or dried butter beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 cups green beans, cut in 2-inch pieces
  • 2 chicken thighs (10 ounces total)
  • Salt
  • 4 pieces of rabbit (10 ounces total)
  • 1 (10-ounce) boneless duck breast, cut in 4 pieces
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, grated (1/2 cup pulp)
  • 4 drops yellow food coloring
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon pimenton
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1 dozen cooked snails, optional
  • Fresh rosemary sprig
  • 2 cups Spanish short-grain rice
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish

Step 1If using dried butter beans, soaked overnight, cook them in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Set the beans aside.

Step 2Blanch the green beans in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain, refresh in cold water and set aside.

Step 3Cut the chicken thighs in half along the bone, making 4 pieces. Lightly salt the chicken, rabbit and duck.

Step 4Place a 14-inch paella pan on the fire and heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt into the oil, then add the chicken, rabbit and duck and let them brown slowly, about 10 minutes. Next add the limas or parboiled butter beans and the blanched green beans and cook and stir 1 minute. Add the garlic, and when it begins to turn golden, the tomato pulp.

Step 5In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup of water, the yellow food coloring, saffron and pimenton. Stir until the spices are dissolved. Dribble this mixture into the pan.

Step 6Add 4 cups of broth or water and turn the heat to high. Add the snails and sprig of rosemary. When the liquid is boiling, add the rice, stirring to distribute it evenly. Continue to cook on high heat for 6 minutes. Remove the rosemary.

Step 7Reduce the heat to medium. Cook 14 minutes more without stirring. Add additional liquid if necessary. The liquid should be almost absorbed, the rice al dente.

Step 8Allow the paella to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving, then garnish with lemon wedges.

Each of 6 servings:
652 calories; 721 mg sodium; 119 mg cholesterol; 35 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 40 grams carbohydrates; 42 grams protein; 3.44 grams fiber.
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