Recipe: Spanish Paella

On our recent trip to the Canary Islands in Spain, we had the great pleasure of experiencing a secluded beach called Playa de Guigui. The Patronato de Turismo de Gran Canaria  (Tourism Board of Gran Canaria) generously organized a private ocean cruise through the company Canarias Gay which is a boat tour company offering excursions on a luxury yacht.

During our excursion, we headed to Guigui Beach which is isolated due to the difficulty of actually getting there. The best way to get to this beach is via boat as it only takes about half an hour from the Puerto de Mogán.  Otherwise, you are looking at an approximately 3 hour hike out and a 3 hour hike back. However you choose to get there, once you arrive, you are greeted by a gorgeous black sand beach, a wonderful breeze, and relaxing views of the ocean.

Recipe: Spanish Paella. My Normal Gay LifeIf you choose to take a boat excursion, I highly recommend Canarias Gay for a number of reasons including gay-friendliness…not to mention the very attractive staff. Aside from being an excellent navigator, the captain is also an excellent chef. One of my favorite aspects of our boat excursion was eating homemade paella on the beach in the warm Canarian summer sun.

Paella is what many people think of when Spain comes to mind. In fact, most non-Spanish people believe it to be the national dish of Spain. However, the truth is Spaniards consider it more of a regional food native to the Valencia region.  There are many variations on this recipe so the dish can be made in a multitude of ways. However, the paella we enjoyed on our secluded beach was more traditional consisting of rabbit and a bit of chicken, rice, peppers, green beans, and artichokes.

I happened to take notes on the recipe and am giving it to you, my readers, to try at home! Remember, you can adjust this recipe to your taste making it with only chicken, only rabbit, seafood, or no meat at all. I also have adjusted the recipe slightly for my own tastes. If you want to have the most authentic experience, head to Gran Canaria and book a cruise. The captain will be glad to make a wonderful paella that you will enjoy sitting on a black sand beach and surrounded by that Canarian atmosphere.

Spanish Paella

Servings 6-8

Ingredients

– 3 cups bomba or calasparra rice ( you can use any rice…just be weary of overcooking)

– 8 cups chicken stock

– 1 large onion, diced

– 3 garlic cloves, minced

– 1 large bell pepper, diced

– 10-15 flat green beans

– 4 tomatoes, diced

– 0.5 (4 ounce) can tomato paste

– 2 -3lbs rabbit

– 4 links of chorizo sausage, sliced into 1 inch pieces.

– 1 lb of chicken (wings and drumsticks work best but use your favorite cut)

– 1⁄2 cup fresh parsley

– 2 -3 tablespoons fresh thyme

– 1⁄2 tablespoon paprika

– 1pinch saffron

– 3 lemons, quartered

Directions

1) Make sure all of your ingredients are prepped.

2) Prepare the rabbit by separating the legs and cutting the remaining meat into small slices and lightly salting. Remember, you can subsititue rabbit for any meat or other veggies. This is entirely up to you.

3) Coat the bottom of your paella pan with olive oil. Brown the chorizo over high hear for 1-2 minutes. Set the chorizo aside. Now brown your rabbit and chicken for 2-3 minutes. It should not be fully cooked. Set aside.

4) Brown the garlic, onion, and bell pepper until they’re softened. Add the plum tomatoes shortly before the mixture is finished.

5) Push the vegetable to one side of the pan and add the tomato paste to the other side. Caramelize it by flipping and spreading it until it begins to loosen (about 1-2 minutes).

6) Mix all of the vegetables and meats together with the caramelized tomato paste also adding the paprika, parsley and thyme.

7) Add the rice, mixing it all together and stirring as the rice browns a bit (1-1.5 minutes). Add the saffron and stir. When the rice is translucent, add enough chicken stock to cover the mixture. Lower the heat to medium and keep it at a steady boil.

8) Stir a few time in the first 5-10 minutes adding broth as needed to keep the rice covered. Now, let it sit. Allow it to cook for another 10-20 minutes adding broth as needed until the rice on top is al dente. Do not worry about the rice on the bottom burning a bit. It’s actually delicious.

9) Once the rice on top is al dente, remove the paella from the heat and cover. Allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes. Do not remove the lid before time is up or else your paella will be a crunchy mess.

10) Once you are absolutely certain it is ready, uncover, garnish with lemon wedges and enjoy.

 

J Harvey

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J. Harvey

J Harvey is a travel writer based in North Carolina. With two masters degrees, he decided to forget working a normal 9-5 job and instead create a travel blog focusing on travel for a more inclusive community. He hopes to increase LGBT representation within the travel industry while inspiring others to travel in whatever capacity.

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