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How To Make Authentic Paella

How To Make Authentic Paella

There are so many versions of the rice dish, paella, from Valencia to Spain to other parts of the world. But if you want to make an authentic paella, here is the recipe.


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Step 1: You will need

  • Chicken Thighs
  • Risotto Rice
  • Frozen Peas
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Squid
  • Clams
  • Jumbo Prawns
  • Chorizo
  • Diced Pancetta
  • Onions
  • Paprika
  • Garlic
  • Thyme
  • Dried Chillies
  • Wine
  • Saffron
  • Chicken Stock
  • Parsley (for Garnish)

Hi there. I'm Matt from the Underground Cookery School, and today, I'm going to do a video cookery lesson for you. I'm going to show you how to cook an authentic paella.

Well, the first thing you need is a paella that is actually what this dish is called, and a paella is, you know, in Spain, they would say you cook a big dish and everyone would know what that meant. Now, that pan was already on the hob for a moment so I just wanted to bring it out to a really high temperature so I can throw those chorizo on straight away. I'm going to throw on some diced pancetta and I'm now going to put in some diced pepper.

Now, I'm going to put the onion in, quite a lot of that, and I'm going to give it a good old mix. Now already, the juices from the chorizo are adding flavour to the paella and whilst those onions are softening up, I'm going to add my paprika. In, it goes.

I'm just going to turn that down a little bit because I'm worried that it's going to be too hot and in fact, what I'll do initially that's just to stop anything from catching in the bottom and it's going to add flavour. I'm going to add the garlic now. I do not like to add garlic in a dish until I absolutely have to because I don't want it burn.

I'm going to add some thyme. I've got some dried chillies here which are really going to set this dish on fire and now I'm going to add my rice. It's called calasparra rice.

It's a much thinner grain than you would normally get with a just sort of regular basmati rice but it's perfect for this. If you can't find it, it's fine to use Arborio or risotto rice. You'll get a similar sort of result but we're going to try and keep it as authentic as we possibly can.

For that reason, I'm now going to add – let's put the wine in next, and the reason you would put the wine in before the stock is I just want to cook that wine down just to burn the alcohol off, so in this point, I'm going to turn the heat back up again. There we go, just get that going and now, just for colour, more than anything else, I'm going to add one of the key ingredients which is the saffron. Now, it's not going to have an immediate effect but it will turn this dish into the sort of traditional Spanish crimson after the cooking time has developed.

Right, most of the wine now has already been absorbed or burned or the alcohol burned off, so now, I'm going to add some chicken stock and I'm going to put enough in here just to cover most, if not all the rice, and what I'm going to do for the next 10 minutes is just keep working this dish so that all the rice is absorbed and when necessary, adding more stock. So, you won't see anything for the next 10 minutes other than knowing that I'm going to cook the rest of this dish down. So, that's now cooking away.

I'm going to let the rest of the ingredients just carry on and talk about what I'm going to add in a minute. An authentic paella would probably have butter beans, rabbit, you may even go with snail but people aren't that keen over here, and those ingredients, I've left on one side. There is quite a debate on what you put in there and also, the people of Valencia where the dish was first created would also probably have great umbrage with me so I do apologize to you, but this is the authentic English version.

Now, this rice has been cooking down for about 10 minutes. Just before you came back on the scene, I added a bit more stock because I'm now going to add lots more ingredients. As you can see, I'm just going to turn this around, you should keep turning the pan because different parts of the pan will get hot at different points, and there, you see, you want to make sure that you want to work tidy.

This is how it really is, not TV cooking. I've got some browned up chicken thighs. I'm now going to add those to the dish, so just liberally scatter those around like that, and here's a thing about cooking.

You know, you got all those lovely juices in there so use them. I've got some frozen peas. I'm go