Saturday, August 1, 2009

Easy Peasy Paella

So you have company coming, and you're just not sure what to make tonight.
Try making paella. It's a one pan dish, with loads of flavour and it looks fantastic. Don't let the number of ingredients intimidate you. I've broken it down by groups/categories, and find that easier to manage myself. I use Valencia rice, but Aboria works as well.

Any shallow (about 2 inch pan) should work. 10"-12" pan should be enough to feed about 4-5 people, and 13-14" pan will yield enough for about 6-8 people.

The following recipe is for a 14" pan. Adjust ingredients for a smaller pan/group of ppl.

Ingredients & Method

32 oz chicken stock, remove one cup and warm in microwave.
Add a pinch of saffron to the cup of warm stock and let steep while you prepare the rest.

Marinate the seafood with a couple of pinches of salt, sugar, and paprika, pepper, or cheat with some Cheasepeake seasoning :)
1/4 lb medium to large shrimp
1/4 lb fresh fish
1/4 lb bay scallops or large ones cut in half

In your pan, start with the following ingredients, in order.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 link Spanish Chorizo (about 8 inches, sliced, when oil starts rendering, add)
4-6 chicken thighs, skin down on pan (cook until skin is brownish, and outside of chicken is no longer pink. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add into the oily pan the Aromatics
1 chopped/diced onion (you can use Spanish, or white or red)
2-4 cloves chopped garlic
2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika (or whatever you have)
When onions are translucent-

Add in 2 cups Valencia rice.
Cover and toss the rice with the wonderful aromatics.
Salt and pepper at this time.
Cook until rice is opaque. Add in the cup of saffron infused stock, cook for a while until all stock is absorbed, and add in the rest of the stock.
Stir briefly to loosen up the rice into the stock. Add back in the cooked chicken, and place in intervals between the rice. Bring to a boil, and then turn down fire to low.

At this point you want to leave the rice alone for about 20 mins. Cover pan with foil.

Meanwhile prepare:
1 cup green peas
1 small can artichoke hearts (optional, remove from marinade)
1 red pepper (seeded, sliced into strips)
12 mussels (scrubbed and remove beard)
2 lemons (cut into wedges, and slice down one side close to rind/segment
1 tbs chopped flat leaf parsley
Turn on oven at 375 degrees.

Remove foil, scatter green peas, archichoke hearts.
place strips of red pepper in a cirle, fanning outwards.

Poke into rice, shrimp, fish, scallops and cover again with foil for about 10 mins.

Add mussels on top of pan, and put entire pan into the oven for another 10 mins.
Just before serving, sprinkle chopped parsley,
and decorate edges of pan with lemon wedges.