Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
Paella originated in the provinces of Spain. An international dish nowadays with as many variations as countries that have embraced it, the different versions of Paella became better known in Latin America as Arroz a la Valenciana (Valencian Rice) and adapted to the agriculture and foodstuff available in the particular country. Nicaragua is quite famous for its love of Arroz a la Valenciana. Whatever you call it, it is delicious and can be very complicated. Most people agree that the traditional Paella must contain rabbit meat. However, if you have ever tried to debone a rabbit you will see why that tradition is not a popular one. So, here for your enjoyment, is a very simple way to make Arroz a la Valenciana. May the Paella gods forgive me.
- 1 (3 lb) whole chickens
- 1 lb white rice (cooked)
- 1 lb smoked link sausage (sliced into 1/2 inch slices)
- 1⁄8 cup butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 white onion (chopped into medium chunks)
- 1 red bell pepper (cut into long strips)
- 3 green onions (chopped very finely)
- 2 large tomatoes (diced into large chunks)
- 1 lb cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (optional)
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1⁄4 cup capers
- 8 1⁄2 ounces canned early peas (petit-pois)
- 3 ounces canned smoked oysters (optional)
- 4 -5 ounces sliced black olives or 4 -5 ounces whole green olives, as is traditional
- 1⁄2 cup white wine (optional) or 1⁄2 cup beer, you decide, traditional (optional)
- salt and pepper
- 1) Place the whole chicken in a pot. Pour enough water into the pot to barely cover the chicken. Add a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and a pinch of poultry seasoning (optional).
- 2) Bring water to a boil, cover and cook at medium/low heat for about one hour. Turn the chicken over about half way through to insure even cooking. Keep an eye on it so that it will not dry out and burn. However, the level of the water at the end should be fairly low, so don’t add a lot of water through the cooking process. The tighter your lid fits on the pot, the less water you will need to replace. Remove from heat and allow to cool until it can be handled comfortably.
- 3) Debone the chicken setting all the bones and skin aside in a bowl. Do not discard the broth from the chicken.
- 4) In a very large frying pan, heat the butter and olive oil. Add the diced tomatoes, bell pepper strips, chopped onions (both) and 1 teaspoon of salt. When white onions look transparent, add the tomato paste, capers and olives and stir. Add the sausage slices, shrimp, oysters, the de-boned chicken meat and whatever broth you had left. Now is also the time to add the wine or beer if you are using any.
- 5) Continue to stir over medium/low heat until the mixture becomes almost dry (broth has evaporated and been absorbed). Now add the cooked rice a little at a time while stirring. Finally, add the early peas and stir gently to blend them inches.
- 6) Serve hot accompanied by a large glass of Spanish Sangría poured over some ice, an orange wedge and a wedge of pineapple.