I have made a version or two of paella at home and even camping, over the years; but, did not really enjoy authentic paella until a trip to Barcelona (by the way, you have to make that Pan con Tomate – really you do). We could not get enough of paella, and devoured a few pans over the course of a week. When the folks at Culinary Collective reached out to us about partnering and making paella together, we said YES! It was a no brainer as we have been itching to get back to Spain, and figured if we couldn’t do that, we could recreate one of our favorite dishes at home, Paella Valenciana.
This recipe was developed in partnership with Culinary Collective.
While I mentally prepared for a new recipe to share, I wasn’t quite sure until our Paella making kit arrived at our home, exactly what sort of paella I would make. The ingredients we received from Culinary Collective were Valencian Paella Cooking Base, Matiz Valencian Traditional Rice, a jar of Matiz Navarro Organic Piquillo Peppers, and the perfect sized paella pan to make just enough paella for 4 – 6 people! I knew I also wanted to incorporate a couple items we brought back from Spain, and lucky for you and us, Culinary Collective sells them. I was terribly excited to begin cooking, and all that was left was to pick up a few fresh ingredients from the market!
What I loved about paella while we were traveling was the sense of community when enjoying it. There is something magical about a steaming pan of seasoned rice filled with seasonal ingredients being brought to your table to enjoy together. Everyone would grab a fork or spoon, and just begin to experience. People smile, eat, laugh and enjoy each others company while eating paella, it is a very communal experience. There are so many different types to enjoy as well, from heavy seafood influenced to vegetarian options loaded with fava and green beans, peppers and strips of kale. Some recipes are cooked in traditional ovens while others were cooked over wood fires, all were different but the same. Our favorite was always the traditional Paella Valenciana which was filled with lightly fried rabbit and many different kinds of seafood and smokey peppers.
Since I could not find rabbit locally, I opted for chicken thighs and cooked them until golden brown. I also added some spicy pork chorizo which I lightly cooked to release some of the juices, then I sautéed the squid (only the tentacles as we prefer them) in it. I only cooked the rice with the broth and the golden chicken thighs on the stovetop until the rice was barely soft. Then I added rest of the ingredients and finished cooking in the oven until rest of the ingredients were almost cooked, then I scattered with frozen peas and continued cooking for a few more moments.
This recipe for Paella Valenciana is a great meal anytime of the year, but I cannot wait to make it again on the grill and enjoy it at many summer soirees! We are partnering with Culinary Collective to give away a paella kit which will include: a paella pan, Aneto Paella Base, a bag of rice for paella and a jar of organic piquillo peppers. We want all of you to enjoy the same experience but can only share this lovely gift with one lucky reader. To enter this delicious giveaway leave a comment on the post below. There is a chance to receive two extra bonus chances: 1) Follow Culinary Collective and Chez Us respectively on Instagram, then come back and leave two comments saying you did so! Super Bonus Point head to Aneto FB Page – give them kind like, then leave a comment here telling us you did so. This giveaway will close on April 17, 2016, at midnight (PST) and is open to US Residents only. If you do not win or you just cannot wait, please remember that you can purchase a paella kit here as well as some of the ingredients that we used in our recipe!
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