The original paella Valenciana with tender chicken and rice.
The best-known paella is the original Valenciana. A delicious combination of rice, chicken, beans, peas, and other vegetables cooked together in the pan that lent its name to this dish.
A traditional lunchtime meal enjoyed by the farmers and labourers In Valencia, Spain, paella often included a range of meats and vegetables that were available in the fields where they worked. Over time the popularity of paella grew, and new were versions developed based on the produce and meats available in the area.
The ingredients in today's paella are fairly specific if it is to be considered paella Valenciana. If the ingredients range too far from the mark, it is not considered the traditional dish of the region. As always, my version leans toward the simplest combination of ingredients. In your own home, feel free to add other meats or swap out the chicken for sausage, etc.
(Makes 4 servings)
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter, salted
3 bone-less, skin-less chicken breasts, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, deseeded and diced
1 cup sugar snap peas, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Roma tomatoes, deseeded and diced
1 can (540ml) lima beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 cups rice
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, whole
In a sauté pan (or paella) over medium-high heat, add the extra-virgin olive oil and butter. Once the butter is melted and hot, add the chopped chicken breast and cook until browned on all sides. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the pan and place in a bowl and set aside.
In the same pan, add the onion, yellow bell pepper, and snap peas then sauté until the vegetables begin to soften (about 8 minutes). Add the garlic, tomatoes, lima beans, paprika, turmeric, and ground black pepper and stir well to combine. Add the chicken stock and deglaze the pan before sprinkling the rice into the pan in and even layer. Reduce the heat to medium, reintroduce the chicken, and add the sprigs of rosemary. Allow to cook until the rice has absorbed the stock, adjusting the temperature as needed.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 387 | total fat = 5.73g | saturated fat = 1.37g | cholesterol = 48.75mg | sodium = 1,315.06mg | net carbohydrates = 43.26g | dietary fibre = 6.81g | sugars = 8.23g | protein = 30.99g