From this company, we want to defend the ‘Paella Valenciana,‘ an emblematic dish of our country and known worldwide. Although there are various ways to cook a good Paella, we will try to adhere as closely as possible to the traditional preparation, as it is made in the orchard of Valencia.”

Traditionally, the Paella Valenciana has been cooked in a polished steel paella pan, outdoors, and with orange wood (Valencia is the birthplace of orange cultivation in Spain). Orange wood, aside from giving the paella a certain aroma, provides a constant and to some extent manageable fire, despite the difficulty of cooking with wood. In the preparation of the paella, it is very important to control the fire, as we must intensify it or make it gentler depending on each moment of the cooking process.

Ingredients for Paella for 4 people

500 g of Valencia Designation of Origin rice (around 125 g per person).

800 g of chopped chicken, including the liver.

600 g of chopped rabbit.

250 g of ‘bajoqueta’ or ‘ferraura,’ also known as flat green beans.

200 g of ‘garrofó.’ A variety of large, flat white beans typical of Valencia. If the ‘garrofó’ is not fresh, add only 100 g soaked for about twelve hours.

100 g of crushed tomato, approximately equivalent to one grated medium-sized tomato.

150 cc of olive oil.

Saffron threads (or alternatively, food coloring, although it’s not the same).

One teaspoon of sweet red paprika powder.

Common table salt.

Fresh rosemary (or dried, although not recommended).

Water. As a general rule, use twice as much water as rice.

It’s worth mentioning that ‘tabella,’ a type of white bean, is often included.

Recommended rice: Bomba rice, round rice.


First of all, it’s important to level the paella pan so that the rice is evenly distributed and cooks uniformly. To do this, simply pour the cold oil into the pan, ensuring that it is perfectly centered. Once well-centered, turn on the heat and wait for the oil to become hot before starting to fry the meat. Use the spatula to spread the oil across the bottom of the pan to prevent it from burning, or alternatively, surround the oil with salt for the same purpose (in this case, avoid salting the meat too much).

Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and rabbit, which should have been seasoned with salt (unless you used the trick described earlier), and slowly brown them, turning them over. Typically, leave the larger pieces in the center of the paella, moving the smaller ones towards the edges to prevent them from burning. It’s worth emphasizing again that it’s crucial to brown all the meat well over low heat without rushing, ensuring that everything is nicely fried. That’s part of the secret to a good paella.

When the meat is well browned, move it all to the edges where the heat is lower, and it’s time to fry the flat green beans. Like the meat, the vegetables should be well fried but not burnt, so keep turning them constantly. Once they are done, it’s time to add the crushed fresh tomato, following the same process: move the vegetables to the edges and fry the tomato well, preventing it from burning. When the tomato has released all its water, it is well sautéed

Once all the previous ingredients are well fried, stir everything together and let it sauté for a moment. The meat should be well browned, and the vegetables and tomato well sautéed. Now, add the paprika and quickly stir, preventing it from burning. It is very important to have some water ready and pour it immediately to prevent the paprika from burning, as it would give a bad flavor to the Paella.

Now is the time to add water to our paella; we will add water to almost completely cover the entire pan. Now, add the saffron threads (or food coloring) and the garrofón. At this point, we should turn the heat to the maximum until it boils.

When the broth reaches the boiling point, we will taste for salt and add a little if necessary. We will let it boil for another 45 minutes.

Now we can prepare to add the rice, but first, we need to consider the measurement of the broth; remember that there should be approximately double the amount of water as rice. The water level, if the paella size is appropriate for the desired portions, should be around the internal rivets of the paella handles. Like the quantity of oil or rice, the water measurement is approximate, and experience will be our best guide.

Once the water is added, if necessary, it’s time to taste the salt again, adding more if needed. It’s important to note that the salt should be tasted just before adding the rice and it should be on the slightly salty side.

Next, the heat is increased, and the rice is added, spreading it evenly across the paella. We continue for 5 minutes over high heat, another 5 minutes over medium heat, and 8-10 minutes over low heat. In total, the rice cooks for approximately 18 to 20 minutes, although this time may vary depending on the hardness of the water in each location. The rice should be dry and the grains whole.

As a general rule, we will never add water once the rice has been added to the paella. If it is observed that the rice is not yet done and the paella is running a bit short of broth, lower the heat and it can be covered with aluminum foil or another lid to evaporate less water. Never add water, in any case, add previously reserved broth that is boiling at the time of pouring to avoid interrupting the boiling.

In Valencia, it is also very typical to leave the rice at the base of the paella, toasted and crispy. This rice is called ‘Socarrat.’ We can achieve the famous ‘socarrat’ by placing the paella directly on the embers immediately after finishing the Paella.

In Valencia, it is a custom to let the paella rest for a few minutes before serving it. This rest usually benefits the rice. Besides, it is essential if the rice is a bit firm because it helps the rice finish cooking and complete the absorption of broth that may still remain. If it is very firm, you can fix it by covering the paella with a sturdy paper and splashing it with a little water, then letting it rest for a few minutes longer than usual.

And if we want to be completely faithful to tradition, we will eat the paella directly from the container, preferably with a wooden spoon.

Tips and Tricks from the Experts

  • In some areas of Valencia, additional ingredients like snails (known in Valencia as “vaquetas”) are added, or if it’s the season, you can include some artichokes chopped into four or five parts. It’s advisable to soak the artichokes in water with lemon beforehand to prevent them from turning black and affecting the rice.
  • The final result will depend a lot on the hardness of the water. In Valencia,it tends to be very high, so it’s not uncommon for people participating in paella contests to bring their own jugs of water,as the already have the cooking times under control.
  • Always use round-grain rice, as other types do not absorb the flavor and aroma of the broth properly; the paella should always be flavorful.
  • If you add chicken liver, it should be removed earlier as it fries more quickly. Later, it can be reintroduced once the vegetables and tomatoes are well sautéed. Some prefer to eat it as an appetizer once it’s well sautéed.
  • Some people add a sprig of rosemary for two or three minutes to give it a different flavor. Rosemary is preferably fresh, as dried rosemary cannot be completely removed, imparting too much flavor (which would overshadow the taste of the other ingredients) and can be quite bothersome when eating, having to remove the leaves.

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