This rice-based dish is well known internationally, although in Valencia you will find many authentic variations that equally vie for attention. Some consider this a national dish of Spain, but many consider it a Valencia dish, from where it originated and you can typically find the best paella in that region. The most traditional Valencian paella is a mixture of chicken or rabbit (or both), white and green beans and other vegetables, but seafood is also common, where you can find an array of seafood surprises among the flavoursome rice, such as calamari, mussels, clams, prawns, scampi or fish, depending on the type you order. For the adventurous, a black rice stained by octopus ink is a must try (arroz negro), and if you find paella with less common ingredients such as eel (anguila) or duck (pato), don’t miss the rare chance. Fiduea is tasty twist on the rice-based paella, as it uses a small curly pasta instead.
- Heat olive oil in paella pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and pepper. Cook and stir for a few minutes. Add chorizo, chicken and rice. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir in 1/2 of the stock, wine, thyme leaves and saffron. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Taste the rice and check to see if it is cooked. If the rice is uncooked, stir in 1/3 of the remaining stock.
- Continue cooking, stirring occasionally. Stir in additional stock as necessary. Cook until rice is done.
- Stir in squid, tomatoes and peas. Cook for 2 minutes. Arrange prawns and mussels on top. Cover with aluminium foil and leave for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the foil and sprinkle parsley over the top. Serve in paella pan garnished with lemon wedges.