Paella Valenciana is my take on a traditional Spanish recipe made with chicken, rabbit, green beans, artichokes, broad beans and no seafood.
Using bone-in cuts of meat helps to keep it moist and succulent and it still cooks in under an hour, including preparation!
Traditional Spanish Paella with Rabbit
Paella recipes have a long-standing association with seafood and I love seafood, but the oldest recipe contains no seafood.
Like all of my recipes, I have taken some liberties. But in the main this remains a pretty traditional retelling of a classic paella Valenciana.
Although I did choose to omit the obligatory snails, primarily because they are very difficult to find!
I do add the outrageously expensive saffron, just as I do in my prawn and chorizo paella.
But please do not think that you must have this to make the recipe, yes, it makes a difference, but it is still glorious without it.
There is a beautiful simplicity about a well-cooked paella. They are not strikingly beautiful and you should never trust a paella that is!
Frequently Asked Questions
What sort of rice should I use to make paella?
Paella rice is always short grain rice, I personally use a variety called Bomba. Other varieties like senia and bahfa are also available.
You can, at a push, use risotto rice, it will not be perfect and the food police will be shocked at the suggestion. But it will work and be a half-decent approximation.
Should I wash or rinse the rice?
No, it is important not to rinse, soak or wash the rice!
It is also vital that you do not stir your rice. When you make a risotto the stirring releases the starches which gives it the classic creamy texture.
That is the very last thing you want when cooking paella. You want to treat your rice with kid gloves, pour it gently and don’t mess around with it beyond flattening it out.
Can I use a regular frying pan?
At a push yes, but paella pans generally return better results because they promote the best part of the paella, the socarrat. The “crispy” caramelised rice crust that forms at the edges of the dish.
Can I cook paella on a BBQ?
Yes, definitely, it is my favourite surprising BBQ dish!
This recipe is written with a stovetop in mind. But there really are no real changes needed to cook this on a BBQ.
The key is setting up the BBQ coals, you need high heat, medium heat and “no” heat. So work from left to right and work from a thick layer of coals to no coals.
Work over the thick layer of coals for the first cooking phase, then move to the medium-thick layer until the rice is almost cooked. Then cover it with foil and put it to the side with no coals… Simple hey?
This classic paella Valenciana is a one-bowl dish as far as I am concerned and it really does not need a side dish.
However, a nice glass of wine, some crusty bread and a side salad always go down well.
When it comes to bread I am most likely to grab a crusty French stick, because it is available and easy.
If you are a bread maker then this pan rustico recipe would work a treat too!
I only name-check brands of equipment if I think they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- Paella pan, I use a 28cm or 11″ pan designed to be used on an induction hob made by Vaello.
- Chopping board.
- Kitchen knife.
- Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
- Kettle and jug for the stock.
- Kitchen tongs.
- Kitchen foil.
- Stirring spoons.
This traditional paella recipe is based on what is thought to be one of the earliest versions, Valenciana paella containing made with rabbit, chicken, beans and artichokes.
- 150g (¾ Cup) Bomba Paella Rice
- 2 (275-300g Total) Small Chicken Thighs
- 2 (350-400g) Small Rabbit Legs
- 100g (¾-1 Cup) Green Beans
- 75g (½ Cup) Broad Beans
- 100g (¾ Cup) Artichoke Hearts in Oil
- 1 (100g) Medium Tomato
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 650ml (2¾ Cups) Chicken Stock
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Sprig Rosemary
- 1½ Tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 Pinch Saffron
- ½ Tsp Salt
- Lemon Juice to Taste
- Fresh Parsley
- Peel and finely slice the garlic cloves.
- Grate the tomato.
- Top and tail the green beans.
- Cut the artichoke hearts into quarters.
- Place your paella pan on a high heat and when hot add the oil.
- Season the chicken and rabbit and then brown them in the oil until nicely coloured on all sides, then remove the meat leaving the pan on the stove. It is best to add the rabbit legs a couple of minutes before you add the chicken because it takes longer to colour up.
- Add the green beans, artichokes and broad beans and cook for a minute or two.
- Add the garlic and grated tomato, stir and cook for two more minutes.
- Pour in the rice and then sprinkle over the smoked paprika.
- Pour over the hot stock, sprinkle over the saffron and tuck in the rosemary.
- It is vital that you do not stir your paella, so just flatten out the rice and arrange everything in the pan so that it all has some space.
- Return the meat to the pan, then cook over a medium-high heat for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 12-15 minutes. Then test the rice it should be just cooked with a little bite!
- Cover with foil and allow to sit over a very low heat for a further 5-10 minutes. Make sure that the chicken and the rabbit have reached at least 73°C or 165°F before serving.
- Serve sprinkled with lots of fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1220Total Fat: 60gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 40gCholesterol: 363mgSodium: 2399mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 6gSugar: 11gProtein: 104g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.