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The secrets for successful paella

Advice for making a successful paella recipe.

A triumph of colours and tastes, paella has long since crossed the border from Spain to is a guest at any large party.
It can be cooked for 2 or for 50 people, everyone likes and, more than any other dish, it has a convivial and festive side that is so pleasing.

But what are the secrets to making successful paella?

Paella means pan in Catalan, and the pan in which it is cooked originated in Spain in the Valencia region.
For a very long time, rice was grown there that the Arabs imported from Iraq. Crops were widespread, and from the 13th century, King James I put an end to the expansion of the rice fields to prevent the risk of malaria in the region.
Rice had become a base cereal for the entire region and so paella was a natural result of this.

The first secret to successful paella is the paella pan.
Traditionally, it is a large pan made of steel with 2 or 4 handles in order to carry it when full. Its shape encourages the evaporation that will concentrate the flavours and steel is ideal for cooking meat and vegetables. It adds the grilled taste by encouraging the Maillard reaction that is absolutely essential.
Under no circumstances should your paella looked like meat boiled in rice water!

The second secret, and it is not the least important is: the ingredients used.
At the start of cooking, brown the meat that takes the longest to cook.
To begin, turn on your paella burner (only the central ring if possible) and let it heat slowly to the required temperature.
Add a generous amount of olive oil and add a handful of salt.
Once it is hot, brown the meat on all sides, then place it at the edges of the pan so that it will cook slowly.
By proceeding in this way for each ingredient that needs to be seared, you will harmonise the cooking time. Your vegetables, beans, peas, peppers, etc will release much richer flavours if you brown them.
The strained tomatoes and garlic are added just before you pour the stock.

The third secret is how you cook the rice.
Once the stock has been poured into the pan, it is time to adjust the seasoning and this is much easier if you added salt at the start.
Light all the burner rings and keep everything bubbling while you perfect the cooking before adding the rice.
It will cook in the Creole fashion, so work out how much poultry stock to pour into the pan. As a yardstick, you will need to have at least 4 times as much liquid for one volume of rice. That is to say, at least double what you would use for a saucepan (the evaporation varies in a significant manner depending on the size of the pan that you are using).
Prepare a little more stock. If your rice is not cooked enough, you can always add a little boiling stock. What is important is that it is completely absorbed during cooking.
Once the rice had been added and stirred in, add the saffron and lower the heat under the pan to keep it simmering.

Now all you have to do is wait a little while to enjoy your paella.
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