When the thermometers on the street are pushing 40°C, spending an hour over an open-flame in a basement doesn’t sound like much fun; but, it was. I was lucky enough to get a master-class from my friend Rosa on her family’s paella recipe; which is fantastica.

serves 7-ish (55cm diameter paella)

1 free-range chicken; cut into pieces

½ rabbit; cut into pieces

100ml olive oil

2 garlic cloves; finely diced

2 medium ripe tomatoes; grated, skins discarded

1 tbsp pimenton dulce

400g runner beans

400g fresh garrofon/ butter beans

1 sachet of colourant or safron

3 litres Valencian water 🙂

750g Fallera rice

9 pork balls

4 pinches of dried, ground mix of rosemary & ajedrea (winter savory)


1. Start your fire. Place the paella on its stand and check to make sure it is level.

2. Heat the oil in the paella and add the chicken and rabbit pieces: season well.

N.B. Paella is the name of both the dish and the pan you cook it in.

3. Brown the meat well; and then cook it for a bit longer. Reduce the flame a little.

4. Move the meat to one side and add the tomato and the garlic. Cook over a gentle heat for 5 minutes, until the tomato darkens a little: be careful not to burn the tomate frito.

5. Add the pimenton with both types of beans and cook for 5 minutes.

N.B. Add artichokes when in season; quartered.

6. Pour in the water to a level that is just over the handle rivets. Adjust the salt, bearing in mind the reduction in the water and the rice: It should taste well-seasoned at this stage.

7. Increase the flame; bring the mixture to a rolling boil and maintain for 20 minutes: until the garrofon are soft.

8. Incorporate the colourant.

9. Pour the rice in the form of the cross; and add the pork balls. Using a round spatula, distribute the ingredients evenly throughout the paella.

10. Cook over a high heat for 10 minutes before reducing the heat for the final 5 minutes.

11. Remove from the heat and add the herb mix.

12. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.

N.B. If the rice is still a little hard, you can cover the paella with newspaper for the rest period. This stops the residual moisture from escaping which the rice then absorbs.

P.S. Only add lemon juice to bad paellas: some chefs will take offense if you ask for a lemon wedge.


    • Hola JoBean,
      There are a whole host of paellas and rice dishes that don’t feature rabbit:
      Paella de marisco = seafood paella
      Paella vegetariana = you guessed it
      Arroz negro = a black squid ink rice dish
      Paella de pato = duck paella
      Arroz caldoso de bogavante = creamy lobster rice
      Arroz al horno = oven baked rice with black pudding, pork, chickpeas, tomato, etc. – my favourite.
      Paella de coliflor y bacalao = cauliflower and cod paella
      The list goes on…
      These recipes grew from what was seasonally available to add to the rice from the paddy fields of Albufera.
      Let me know if you’d like the recipe for any,
      JAM x

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