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Valencian Paella

(Paella Valenciana)

From Sarah Woodward, The Classic Mediterranean Cookbook

Serves: 8


  • 20 small clams
  • 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed
  • 6 oz. plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded
  • salt
  • 1 chicken, about 3 lb., cut up into 16 pieces
  • 1/2 lb. cooking chorizo
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 lb. fresh peas, shelled
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig, fresh rosemary
  • 5 c. chicken stock
  • 1/4 tsp. saffron
  • 3.5 c. valencia or other short-grain rice, such as arborio
  • 2 lemons, quartered


  1. Clean the clams. Cut the beans into 1.5-inch pieces. Chop tomatoes coarsely.
  2. Sprinkle salt over chicken pieces. Cut chorizo into 1-inch slices.
  3. Heat oil in deep, round pan. Add chicken and chorizo, and cook for 5 min., turning pieces from time to time, until they are browned on all sides.
  4. Add beans, peas, chopped tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then stirin saffron. Cover and leave to simmer for approx. 10 minutes.
  5. Add rice and salt to taste. Quickly stir all the ingredients together and bring back to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 10 min.
  6. Remove lid and add clams. Cover and cook for 10 min. longer, until rice has absorbed all the liquid.
  7. Take pan off heat, cover with a clean dry dish towel, and let stand for 10 minutes before serving with lemon quarters.


  • I use arborio rice, which gives really excellent results.
  • I find it hard to get acceptable chorizo, so tend to substitute other sausage and/or ham.
  • I substitute (or augment) seafood, depending on what's available. I've used mussels (with or without shells), shrimp, scallops, even lobster (separately boiled 9 minutes, then 6 minutes without fire; let cool, chop up, then put in late just to warm up).
  • I always use canned, diced tomatoes. A 14 oz. can, undrained, works nicely. A 28 oz. can isn't necessarily too much.
  • I usually use fresh green beans, but have used frozen, cut beans (thawed out first) in a pinch. I've also substituted baby lima beans for the peas (again, a small frozen bag, thawed out).
  • One thing I haven't done, but am tempted to do, is to add preserved lemons, probably when the seafood goes in.

Keywords: Spanish, Rice, Rice.