Earthy Delights Recipe

Paella a la Valenciana

Paella a la Valenciana
Adapted from a recipe by Penelope Casas, author of the book, Food and Wine of Spain.

When paella is knowingly and lovingly prepared, it is a creation of elegance. There are many versions of paella Valenciana, some simple, others complex. Feel free to experiment with your ingredients to make this recipe your own and you will be delightfully surprised with the results!

6 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon saffron
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 small onion, peeled
2 small chickens, about 2 1/2 pounds each
sea salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 pound Spanish Chorizo sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 large pork chop, boned and diced
1/4 pound ham, diced (Jamon Serrano, if you can get it!)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 scallions, chopped
4 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 roasted piquillo peppers
1 pound small or medium shrimps, shelled
2 live lobsters, split and divided into tail sections and claws, or 4 lobster tails
3 cups Calasparra Rice
5 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 pound frozen green peas
18 clams and/or mussels, scrubbed
lemon wedges and parsley for garnish



Heat the stock with the saffron, paprika and the onion. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove the onion and measure the stock. You need 5 1/2 cups.


Cut the chickens into small serving pieces. Dry the pieces well and sprinkle with salt.


Use a large pan to heat the oil. Add the chicken pieces and fry over high heat until they're golden brown. Remove to a warm platter. Add the sausage, the pork and the ham to the pan. Stir fry for about ten minutes. Add the onion, scallions, garlic, and pimientos and cook until the onion wilts.


Add the shrimp and the lobster and sauté for about three minutes, or until they just turn pink. Remove the seafood to the platter with the chicken. Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat it well with the oil. Sprinkle in the five tablespoons of chopped parsley and the crumbled bay leaves.


Heat the broth to boiling, then stir it into the rice. Add the wine and the peas. Salt to taste. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, over medium high heat for about ten minutes, stirring from time to time.


Bury the shrimp and the chicken in the rice. Add the clams and mussels, pushing them into the rice. Decorate the paella with the lobster pieces and the shrimp, then bake at 325 for about 20 minutes, uncovered.


Remove the paella from the oven and permit it to rest on top of the stove, lightly covered with foil, for about ten minutes before serving. Garnish with lemon wedges and chopped parsley.