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I’ve been told that the preparation of Paella in Spain shares two characteristics with grilling in the US – first, it’s generally done outside, and second, it’s frequently done by men (including those with no other interest or skill in the kitchen).  I’ve made this dish outside over a fire in the past, but I seem to get better results when I cook it on the stove.  Because my paella pan is larger than my largest burner, I rotate it throughout cooking so it cooks evenly.  One important note on this preparation: once you add the rice, DO NOT STIR.  The rice on the bottom will get slightly burnt, forming the socarrat that makes this dish really work.

  • 4 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 6 boneless chicken thighs
  • ~1 lb Spanish Chorizo or Linguica
  • ½ lb shrimp
  • 1 White Onion
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 lb ripe tomatoes
  • 2 ½ cups risotto-style rice (e.g. Bomba brand)
  • 1 cup peas
  • Flat leaf parsley for garnish

In a saucepan, bring stock to gentle simmer.  In a mortar and pestle, grind salt and saffron together until a powder forms.  Then grind in garlic.  Set aside.

Place pan over high heat.  Add Olive Oil.  When hot, add chicken thighs.  When bronwed on one side, turn over and add sausage.  After thighs are fully cooked, remove thighs and sausage (onto separate plates) from pan and set aside.  Save as much oil as possible.

Add onion and pepper to pan and cook for ~ 3 minutes.  Add tomatoes and cook for 1 minute more.  Add 1-2 ladles full of stock and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir some stock into mortar and mix thoroughly.  Pour into pan.  Add rice and all but ½ cup of remaining stock.  Stir thoroughly.  Return thighs to middle of pan.  Arrange shrimp and sausage on top of other ingredients.  Sprinkle peas on top.  Simmer until rice is tender, ~20 minutes.

If not yet finished and liquid is absorbed, add remaining ½ cup as needed.

After rice is tender, cover with clean kitchen towel and let sit for ~10 minutes.

Garnish with parsley and serve warm (but not piping hot).

1 Response to “Paella”

  1. 1 Terrah May 4, 2011 at 6:15 AM

    Posts like this brighten up my day. Thnkas for taking the time.

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