Here’s a recipe for “Paella Valenciana” – a traditional Spanish dish that’s perfect for a romantic dinner this Valentine’s Day:
1 cup short-grain Spanish rice
1 large chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 mussels, cleaned and debearded
1/2 cup green beans, trimmed
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup fish broth
1 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Lemon wedges, for serving
In a large paella pan or a wide shallow skillet, heat a generous amount of olive oil over medium heat.
Add the chicken pieces and cook until browned on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper to the pan and cook until softened.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they have broken down and released their juices.
Stir in the paprika and saffron, and cook for another minute.
Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat with the tomato mixture.
Pour in the chicken broth, fish broth, and white wine, and season with salt and black pepper.
Stir to mix everything together and bring the liquid to a simmer.
Arrange the cooked chicken, shrimp, green beans, and mussels on top of the rice mixture.
Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan with aluminum foil.
Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
Remove from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.
Serve with lemon wedges on the side.
A good Spanish red wine to complement Paella Valenciana would be a Tempranillo or a Garnacha. These wines are known for their fruit-forward flavors and medium body, making them a great match for the rich and savory flavors of paella. Tempranillo is a classic Spanish grape variety known for its black cherry and plum flavors, while Garnacha is known for its juicy berry and spice notes. Look for a red wine from the Rioja or Navarra regions of Spain for the best match.
Paella Valenciana is a traditional Spanish dish made with rice, vegetables, and meat or seafood. It originated in the Valencian region of Spain and is considered one of the country’s national dishes. The dish is made in a large, shallow pan called a paellera, and typically includes ingredients such as chicken, rabbit, and snails, along with vegetables such as bell peppers, tomatoes, and green beans, and seasoned with saffron and paprika. The mixture is cooked slowly over a low flame until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, creating a delicious and flavorful one-pan meal.