Paella

Paella

Ingredients

  • Paella
  • Paella is a Spanish rice based dish with chicken, chorizo and shellfish that is cooked in a round, thin steel metal baking dish with shallow sides and handles. It is often cooked over an open fire, but a gas barbeque is easier to control the heat. Try to use Valencia rice which is the traditional rice in this dish, or you can use Arborio. You can use a traditional 14 to 15 inch paella pan or a 6 qt. Dutch oven for this recipe. Soccarat is the prized crusty browned rice at the bottom of the pan which most Spaniards would agree is the best part of paella. If you don’t have a paella pan, you can use a Dutch oven and cook it the entire time in the oven and not worry about cooking it the last bit over the stove top to get those browned rice bits on the bottom of the pan.
  • Serves 6
  • 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more oil for cooking
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut pole to pole into 1/2-inch side strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut pole to pole into 1/2-inch side strips
  • 8 oz. Spanish chorizo, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups Valencia rice or Arborio rice
  • 3 1/4 cups chicken broth or fish broth (or 3 cups if you are using a Dutch oven)
  • 1/2 cup white wine (or 1/3 cup wine if you are using a Dutch oven)
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 18 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon sliced for garnish

Instructions

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, add olive oil, 1 teaspoon garlic, salt and pepper and toss shrimp and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator.

In a large paella pan or Dutch oven over medium high heat, add olive oil and heat. Add peppers and cook until they have softened, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add olive oil to paella pan or Dutch oven and heat oil over medium high heat. Add chorizo and sauté 4-5 minutes until browned, about 3-4 minutes. Remove to bowl.

Add chicken and allow pieces to brown on one side before turning. Brown on all sides. The chicken will not be completely cooked at this time. Remove to bowl with chorizo.

Add olive oil to paella pan or Dutch oven medium high heat and add onions and sauté 4-5 minutes until lightly browned. Add remaining garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and stir and cook for 3 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat all the grains and cook 1-2 minutes. Stir in wine and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth or fish stock, saffron, bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Stir well and increase heat to medium high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add chicken and chorizo pieces, cover paella dish with foil or lid and transfer to oven and cook for 15 minutes or until the rice has absorbed almost all of the liquid.

Cover paella and transfer to oven. Cook until rice absorbs almost all of the liquid, about 15 minutes. Remove paella pan from oven and scatter the shrimp all over the pan. Arrange the mussels hinged side down into the rice, and press down so they stand upright. Arrange bell peppers in a decorative pattern. Scatter peas over. Cover and return to oven; cook until shrimp are opaque and mussels have opened, 10 to 12 minutes.

Optional: If soccarat is desired, set paella pan or Dutch oven, uncovered, over medium-high heat on stove about 5 minutes, rotating pot 180 degrees after about 2 minutes for even browning. Remove from heat and cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes or until the mussels have opened up (discard any that don’t open) and the shrimp is cooked through.

Place lemon slices decoratively over paella and sprinkle parsley over to garnish. Serve.

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