Paella with Rabbit and Snails (Paella Valenciana)
This Valencia-style paella is based on a recipe in Jeff Koehler's La Paella (Chronicle, 2006).
Yield: serves 6-8
- 20 threads saffron, crushed (about 1/4 tsp.)
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2" cubes
- 1⁄2 rabbit (about 1 lb.), cut into 6–8 pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1⁄2 lb. shucked lima beans, fresh or frozen and thawed
- 1⁄2 lb. green or romano beans, trimmed and halved crosswise
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 medium tomatoes, minced
- 7 cups chicken broth
- 36 live or canned snails (if canned, rinse and boil for 3 minutes and then drain)
- 2 1⁄2 cups short-grain rice, preferably Valencia or bomba
- Put saffron and 1⁄4 cup hot water in a small bowl; let sit for 15 minutes. Season chicken and rabbit with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 16"–18" paella pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and rabbit and cook, turning often, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add the beans, paprika, garlic, and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is soft, about 5 minutes. Add reserved saffron mixture, broth, and snails; season with salt and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Sprinkle in rice, distribute evenly with a spoon, and cook, without stirring, until rice has absorbed most of the liquid, 10–12 minutes. (If your pan is larger than the burner, rotate it every two minutes so different parts are over the heat and the rice cooks evenly.) Reduce heat to low and cook, without stirring, until rice has absorbed the liquid and is al dente, 5–10 minutes more. Remove pan from heat, cover with aluminum foil, and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.