“In the UK we tend to think of paella as a seafood rice dish. As tasty as that version is, the original comes from Valencia in Eastern Spain and contains chicken, rabbit, and snails but no seafood.
I like nothing more than eating a seafood paella full of fresh mussels, langoustines, prawns, and squid with a bottle of white wine by the coast, but as there are so many variations of this dish across Spain, I wanted to develop a recipe that fully respected its origins.
Eastern Spain is one of the most important rice growing regions in the country. 1200 years ago, rice was introduced to the Spanish moors and the farmers would cook rice in a pan over a wood fire to share for lunch.
For this dish its best to use the leg, shoulder and wing cuts as they don’t overcook and have a better texture. There are many stories about where the name paella is said to come from but the most likely is that it came from the name of the pan it is cooked and served in.
Once you have mastered the technique for a paella then you can experiment and adapt the ingredients. The key is the cooking of the rice… don’t be scared of keeping the heat high as that’s what builds the ‘socarrat’ which is the crust that forms on the bottom and sides of the pan, and in my opinion the best part of a good paella.”
Serves: 2 Medium skill
Ingredientsfor Paul Foster’s Valencia Style Paella