Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Paella for me, Paella for you!

I made paella over the weekend and thought I would share my recipe. I like to call it the "Quick and Dirty" version because I've adapted the traditional recipe for the stovetop. It's a great basic recipe for entertaining if you are short on time. In this version, I omit mussels but do add them when I actually have time to visit the seafood market! Enjoy with a glass of Tempranillo!

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoons dried oregano
salt and black pepper to taste
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cubed
1 clove chopped garlic
1 teaspoon cayenne red pepper
4 cups Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice, brown or white (2 packages)
1 pinch saffron threads, divided
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
Zest of one lemon
½ cup chopped shallots or 1 onion
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 pound chorizo sausage, chopped
1 pound medium–sized shrimp (I use cooked frozen for convenience)

In a medium bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons paprika, oregano, and salt and pepper. Stir in chicken pieces to coat. Cover, refrigerate and allow to marinate.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and brown. Remove chicken and wipe with paper towel. Sauté red pepper, shallots and garlic for 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add chicken back to skillet along with chorizo, shrimp, 2 tablespoons paprika and cayenne pepper. Blend ingredients and add ½ cup of chicken broth. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes, adding chicken broth if necessary. (you don’t want the mixture to be too watery)

Meanwhile, pour rice into saucepan with a few tablespoons of chicken broth, just enough to moisten. Add lemon zest and a pinch of saffron. Heat rice on medium heat for 3-4 minutes, just enough to warm and meld flavors.

Spread rice over meat mixture. Cover and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve. Serves 4.