In the early 80’s we holidayed in Estartit on the east coast of Spain. There we rented an apartment which meant that we could cater for ourselves. We could buy fresh meat and vegetables at a small supermarket a few yards away as well as the market at the nearby town of Torroella de Montgrí. The foodstuffs were cheap and we were able to cook some excellent meals. We were also able to sample some of the Spanish restaurants along the coast where we would take advantage of their location and order fish dishes, like Paella. We were never disappointed.
Paella originated in the region of Valencia. The area produces rice and vegetables. Also in the region are chicken farms. Valencia used these quality local products to make paella. Also, Spain produces fine Olive Oil.
The Paella should be cooked in a paella pan rather than a frying pan. The size should be appropriate for the number of people to be served.
The Real Paella Recipe:
Ingredients for 4 Persons
2 kilo chicken
2 ripe chopped tomatoes
165 g. green beans
130 g. lima beans
1 level teaspoon of saffron
3 cups of Spanish rice
1.75 litres of chicken stock
Olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pan)
1 level teaspoon of red paprika
Heat the oil and when it is hot enough, add the seasoned chicken and fry until lightly browned. Add the beans and cook them with the meat. While they are cooking, make a space in the middle of the pan and fry the chopped tomatoes for several minutes, add the paprika, stirring quickly and adding the chicken stock until it is almost to the top of the paella pans edge.
Cook all the chicken, tomatoes, bans and saffron for about 20 minutes over a high heat. Season to taste. After 20 minutes add the rice. Make sure the rice is covered with stock. The rice will be cooked after about twenty minutes All the stock should be absorbed by the rice.
Remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for ten minutes before serving.
In those days we drove down to Spain, via Marseilles – another story to tell…
Next chapter: Bouillabaisse at Chez Fon Fon