Cookbook:Valencian-Inspired Paella

Valencian-Inspired Paella
Category Spanish recipes
Servings 6
Time 3 hours

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes | Cuisine of Spain | Rice Recipes

This is not a traditional Spanish paella recipe, however it is inspired by paella valenciana because it includes chicken, rabbit, duck and beans; the major ingredients of that dish.

This recipe is not for the faint of heart. It requires a significant amount of work. However, the creamy duck flavor of this dish is well worth the effort if you have the time.


  • A 38-centimeter (15-inch) paellera
  • A 7.6-liter (two-gallon) pot
  • A rice skimmer
  • A sharp chopping knife for meat and vegetables
  • A large serving spoon
  • A clean, white towel large enough to cover the paellera
  • A wide heating source such as:
  1. A stove large enough to accommodate the size of the paellera
  2. A gas burner designed specifically for paelleras
  3. A charcoal barbecue
  4. A low, forged steel tripod to support the paellera over a wood or charcoal fire
  5. Cinder blocks or heat-resistant bricks to support the paellera over a wood or charcoal fire


Please read Paella cooking techniques before attempting this recipe.

  • 500 gr (1 pound) boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 large whole rabbit (or additional pound of chicken breast as a substitute)
  • 1 large whole duck
  • salt to taste
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 500 gr (1 pound) chopped red bell peppers
  • 28 grams (1 ounce) garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 500 gr (1 pound) diced or grated tomatoes
  • 500 gr (1 pound) cannellini beans canned in water (thoroughly rinsed)
  • 8 to 10 threads of saffron and/or 1.5 teaspoons yellow food coloring for rice
  • 3 cups short-grain, white rice (also called Valencian rice or pearl rice)
  • 6 to 8 branches of fresh rosemary


  1. Defrost the duck and the chicken.
  2. Heat the water to a moderate boil.
  3. Place the frozen rabbit (which usually comes skinned and without organs) in the pot.
  4. Fill the pot nearly to the top with water and heat to a moderate boil.
  5. Allow the rabbit to boil until the flesh is light pink. Then remove the rabbit and set aside.
  6. Discard the duck organs except for the neck.
  7. Cut out the duck's spine and set aside.
  8. Quarter the duck and save the wings.
  9. Place the duck quarters, neck, wings, tail and spine in the same water that the rabbit was in.
  10. Boil the duck until the flesh is cooked.
  11. Remove the duck.
  12. Pull the meat off the rabbit and duck and set aside. Be sure to save the duck skin.
  13. Put the duck bones, duck skin and rabbit bones back in the boiling water.
  14. Boil until the water is reduced to half of its original volume.
  15. Discard the bones and skin and save the broth.
  16. Cut the chicken breast into chunks, whatever size you prefer.
  17. Pour olive oil in a paellera and, when hot, add the chicken, duck and rabbit.
  18. Add a tablespoon of salt and mix.
  19. Sauté the meat until golden brown. Use the rice skimmer to mix the meat.
  20. Add red peppers and sauté for one minute.
  21. Add the garlic and sauté until brown. Be careful; garlic burns easily.
  22. Once the garlic is brown, add the paprika followed quickly by the tomatoes to prevent the paprika and garlic from burning.
  23. Sauté until the tomatoes become dark and pulpy and the mixture has reduced a bit.
  24. Add the beans, saffron (and/or food coloring) and mix thoroughly.
  25. Pull the leaves off of the rosemary and add to the mixture. Discard the stems.
  26. Add the rice and stir until the rice is coated with the mixture.
  27. Pat the mixture down so it's level and add the broth so that it's almost to the top of the paellera.
  28. Reduce the heat to moderate and allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes.
  29. It's customary at this point to allow your dinner guests to taste the broth. The purpose is to determine if the broth needs more salt. If so, add more salt, a pinch at a time, until everybody is satisfied.
  30. Taste the rice about once every four to five minutes. You'll know it's done when it's soft but not pasty.
  31. At this point, there should be some toasted rice sticking to the bottom of the pan. This is a delicacy throughout Spain and Latin America. If no toasted rice has developed, increase the flame to high and listen for a crackling sound at the bottom the pan. Reduce the heat to low once the aroma of toasted rice wafts upwards.
  32. Remove the pan from the heat when the rice is almost dry and cover with a clean, white towel (a white towel prevents dye from leeching onto the paella) and wait five minutes before serving to allow the rice to absorb the remaining broth.

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