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Paella Valenciana

A spin on the classic paella Valencia, this dish is packed with flavour, enhanced by the use of saffron and garlic, smoked paprika and rosemary
Course Main
Cuisine Spanish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 5
Author Caramel Tinted Life (adapted from the original recipe by Omar Allibhoy)


  • 10-15 saffron strands I used an Indian variety
  • 3 teaspoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5-6 chicken thighs and legs with the skin on
  • A few broad beans cut into 1-inch pieces, approximately a cup of cut broad beans
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 grated tomato
  • 1 1/4 liter chicken stock I use stock cubes dissolved in hot water
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
  • 250 <g class="gr_ gr_141 gr-alert gr_spell gr_run_anim gr_inline_cards ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="141" data-gr-id="141">grams</g> short-grained rice such as bomba or even arborio
  • A few springs of rosemary


  • Start by toasting the saffron - put the saffron in a small aluminium sheet and fold it into an envelope. Place the envelope of saffron on a hot pan, for just around 10 seconds. Once warmed, keep the saffron aside.
  • Place a paella pan (or skillet), on high heat. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt in the pan. Add the olive oil. Into the hot oil, add the chicken thighs and legs and let it heat. Turn the chicken over so that all sides are well browned.
  • Once the chicken is browned, add the broad beans and stir them gently. Lower the heat a little and add the chopped garlic and smoked paprika. Stir all the ingredients together, gently.
  • Add the grated tomato, and cook for a minute more. The chicken and beans should be well browned and evenly coated with the paprika, garlic and tomato.
  • Add the chicken stock to the pan.
  • Take the saffron out of the foil envelope and crushing it gently with your finger, add it to the pan. Add the lemon juice and chopped parsley.
  • Add 250 <g class="gr_ gr_188 gr-alert gr_spell gr_run_anim gr_inline_cards ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="188" data-gr-id="188">grams</g> of rice to the pan, gently. Add the rosemary gently, pressing the sprigs into the rice.
  • Cook the paella <g class="gr_ gr_187 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_run_anim gr_inline_cards Grammar multiReplace" id="187" data-gr-id="187">on</g> high heat for 10 minutes, and lower to medium heat for 6 minutes.
  • Place a sheet of foil over the pan, and cook for another 7 to 10 minutes on low heat. Let the dish rest for another 5 minutes before you take off the foil.
  • Look for the crusty bits below, formed from the oil and rice starch, the mark of a good paella!


Do not stir the rice after you add it, by doing so, the rice releases its starch and becomes gummy. Leaving the Paella to cook without stirring the rice allows the crusty layer called the 'socorrat' to form on the bottom of the pan. The crust is essential for a good paella. Watch out for the rice burning at the bottom, do not overheat the pan.