Preparation of the dish according to chef José Andrés
When I think of Spanish cuisine, paella often comes to mind. The dish has fond memories of a trip to Spain a few years ago – I couldn’t stop ordering it. José Andrés also has positive memories of preparing the dish with his own father.
“One dish I often cook with my father was paella. And I would help him start the fire,” he told USA TODAY. “Throughout life, my daughters have learned how to make paella. But when we went to Valencia I thought it would be a great idea to do the quest – the quest for the perfect paella.”
Andrés and his daughters Carlota, Inés and Lucia take viewers on a journey through their father’s home country in a new six-part series ‘José Andrés and Family in Spain’, which premiered on Discovery+ last month.
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During filming for the show, the family visited Valencia for paella cooking classes and a competition.
For Andrés, this part of the trip was very special.
There, his daughters learned from experts who had much to share – more than their father, Andrés said.
“As I ate the paella that they made from start — buying ingredients — to finish, it was fascinating to see how those three — little things to me — because they’re still little things to me — like them in it like that successfully prepared one of the most difficult dishes in human history.”
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Andrés shared his Paella Valenciana recipe with USA TODAY.
Power: 4-6 servings
- 2 tablespoons Spanish extra virgin olive oil
- 2 chicken thighs (bone-in), cut into small pieces
- 2 rabbit legs, cut into small pieces
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup romano beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ¾ cup Garrafó beans or shelled fresh broad beans or lima beans
- 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 pinch of saffron
- 4 cups water or chicken broth (low sodium is best)
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 cup Spanish bomba rice
In a 13- or 15-inch paella pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add chicken and rabbit pieces. Sear the meat on all sides until well browned, about 8 minutes, then season with salt. Move the meat to the outer edges of the paella pan, forming a circle in the center.
Place the romano and garrafo beans (or lima or broad beans) in the center of the pan and season with salt. Cook the beans until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, then push the beans with the meat to the outside edges of the paella pan.
Pour the mashed tomato puree into the center of the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half and turning a deep red color, about 5 minutes.
Stir the meat and vegetables into the tomato and continue cooking for about 3 minutes to caramelize the tomato sauce.
Crumble the saffron into the pan and add the broth. Season with salt and add the rosemary.
Increase the heat and bring to a boil, then cook for 2-3 minutes.
Remove the rosemary and add the rice. Be sure to distribute it evenly in the pan and toss it with the meat and vegetables. Cook on high for 8 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. You should see the rice floating in the pan as the broth simmers.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and give the rice a final stir to ensure the meat and veggies are evenly distributed throughout the pan. Cook for 10 minutes and do not stir while the liquid boils down. The rice should be slightly al dente and have a nice, firm center. When you have 2 minutes left, should there be little liquid left in the pan, increase the heat to high to get the crispy soccarat, the caramelized crust at the bottom of the pan. When the rice is done, remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe courtesy of José Andrés.