How to make authentic paella, from a Spanish executive chef

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Prep time: 25 minutes | Cook time: 4 hours | Serves: -


It's tough to call anything authentic these days without starting an argument. There's always someone there to tell you that their way to cook a particular dish – or more likely, their grandmother's way – is the right way.

And when it comes to paella, "authentic" is a particularly tricky word. While Valencia is often considered the birthplace of the rice dish, it can be found throughout Spain, and each region (and even village) has its own interpretation of the rice dish.

These days, it's usually made with seafood, chicken and/or vegetables, and sometimes all of the above. And this recipe, from Chef Pedrom Saililas, includes homemade seafood and vegetable stock along with lobster, clams, fresh veggies and rice.

*Recipe courtesy of Chef Pedro Salillas of OD Barcelona, a boutique and luxury hotel, via The Food Channel


For the Broth
  • 2 pounds shrimp
  • 2 pounds prawns
  • 2 pounds crabs
  • 2 pounds onions
  • 1 1/3 cups leeks
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots
  • 3 cups tomatoes
For the sofrito
  • 4 1/2 cups onion, finely chopped
  • 4 1/2 cups tomatoes, grated
For the paella
  • 4 1/2 cups rice
  • 1 lobster, broken down
  • 4 artichoke hearts
  • 3/4 cup peas
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, cut into thick slices
  • 3/4 pound clams
  • To taste salt


To make the broth

  1. Add shellfish to pot with extra virgin olive oil and cook until done. Remove the seafood from the pot and add the vegetables in the following order, with a margin of 5 minutes between each vegetable: onion, leek, carrot, tomato.
  2. While vegetables are cooking, remove shells from the seafood. Add the seafood back into the pot and cover with water.
  3. Continue cooking over high heat for 30 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and leave covered for 30 minutes. Crush the contents and strain through a fine sieve to remove impurities.

To make the sofrito

  1. Cook the onion with extra virgin olive oil until it is completely caramelized (approx. 2 hours). Add the tomato and set to low heat. Caramelize the tomato for another 2 hours.

To make the paella

  1. Cook the lobster in extra virgin olive oil in large saucepan until it’s half done. Remove and add rice until light brown. Add 3 tablespoons of the sofrito, stir and add the broth
  2. Cook for 7 minutes over medium to high heat and add the zucchini and artichokes hearts Lower the heat and cook for 4 more minutes, then add the clams and lobster.
  3. Cook for 4 more minutes on low heat and sprinkle some olive oil on top. Add the peas and cook for 3 more minutes or until there is a little broth left. Remove from heat and let rest for two minutes.


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