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Valencian Paella Recipe - Paella Valenciana

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Paella Valenciana
Miyo/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Valencia is a region on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, which is known for its rice dishes. There are as many versions of paella as there are cooks in Spain! Paella Valenciana is the traditional version of Valencia’s signature rice dish with rabbit, chicken and snails.

Because paella pans are large round pans, they are not suitable for cooking on top of a standard burner if they are larger than 10-12 inches. So, we recommend cooking paella outside on a round charcoal barbecue or gas paella burner.

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Soak Dried Beans: 8 hours

Total Time: 9 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: 8 Servings


  • 1 1/4 cup dried white beans
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 chicken drumsticks or a whole chicken
  • 1 rabbit – skinned and cleaned
  • 24 snails, cleaned
  • 2 1/4 lbs green beans
  • 2 artichokes, each cut into 4 pieces*
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4-6 cups chicken broth
  • A pinch of saffron threads
  • medium grain or "Pearl" rice


Ingredient & Equipment Notes

  • If artichokes are not in season or you cannot buy them fresh, use a 16-ounce can of artichokes, drained.
  • Dry beans must be soaked in water for 8 hours. Alternatively, substitute quality canned beans. Rinse and drain thoroughly
  • You'll need a 17-inch (44cm) paella pan to prepare this recipe. Because the pan is large, to provide even heat over the large surface, use a round kettle barbecue or gas paella burner.
  • Frozen or canned snails can be purchased specialty grocery stores.

Eight Hours Before Cooking: Soak the white beans overnight and drain the liquid before cooking.

Prepare Ingredients: If you are preparing the ingredients ahead of time, do the following preparation, and refrigerate the ingredients until you are ready to start cooking:

  1. Cut the whole chicken into serving-size pieces or use 8 chicken drumsticks. If you use a whole chicken, use a meat cleaver to cut the chicken into pieces small enough to easily mix while sautéing. Do the same for the rabbit.
  2. Snails should be thawed, clean and ready to cook.
  3. Finely chop the garlic. Cut each tomato into 8 pieces. Rinse the green beans and snap them in half. Cut off any blemishes.
  4. If you are using fresh artichokes, trim tops of leaves and cut off bottom stem. Cut artichokes in quarters, length-wise. If you are using canned artichokes, open and drain the artichokes. Set all vegetables aside.

Begin Cooking: Now that you have cleaned and chopped the ingredients, it's time to light the barbecue. When the coals on the barbecue are covered in white ash, cooking can begin. If using a gas paella burner, light the burner. Assemble all the ingredients on a table near the barbecue or burner, so that you can stay in the area and monitor the cooking.

  1. Place the pan on the grate and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom and allow the pan to heat.
  2. When hot, sauté the onion, garlic and tomatoes in the olive oil. Add olive oil as needed to prevent sticking.
  3. Once the onions are translucent, add the chicken, snails and rabbit. Cook, stirring constantly – about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the white beans and stir.
  5. Add the rice in the form of a cross. Stir for 2-3 minutes to thoroughly coat the rice with oil and mix.
  6. Crush saffron threads with fingers and add saffron to the sauce pan of broth and stir. Slowly pour broth into pan until contents are covered.
  7. Add the rest of the vegetables. Spread ingredients evenly over pan. Allow to simmer, cooking rice and beans. Add more broth if necessary.

Let Paella "Rest". When rice is cooked, remove from heat and cover with aluminum foil, allowing paella to “rest” for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

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