It’s been a pretty good Sunday so far. Our guests left early this morning so we had most of our work done before 11 am. Even the guest room laundry has been washed dried and is awaiting ironing – I draw the line at ironing on Sunday unless it is an emergency! And, as the temperature is not going to clear the freezing mark; today is a day to stay in the house. It is days like this when I love to cook big pots of something. I don’t know if paella counts as a big pot – tho it is a one dish meal – but that’s what is on the menu for tonight.
I am making a seafood, chicken and chorizo paella. Shrimp, octopus and squid covers the seafood component. I like to use a chicken thigh when making paella. Much more flavorful than a breast. This dish uses Spanish chorizo as opposed to Mexican chorizo. Spanish chorizo is cured, like salami and gets sliced into rounds. I’ll also add red and green pepper, a spanish onion, tomatoes, Italian and green beans ( this is a multi-national dish.) Seasonings include garlic, smoked paprika, saffron, salt and pepper. And of course my favorite Spanish rice.
Prep takes a little time as I need to peel the shrimp, clean and chop the squid, chop the vegetables and chicken and slice the chorizo. Fortunately the octopus is ready to go. I’ll do all of that this afternoon and keep it on ice until I’m ready to cook – about 5:30pm. By seven we’ll be sitting down to a big pan of Spanish goodness. Yum!
Aside from the basic rice to liquid proportions, I don’t really follow a recipe for this dish. Here’s my best guess.
- olive oil
- 1 skinless chicken thigh – meat removed from bones and cut into large pieces
- Spanish onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tbl. smoked paprika
- 1 cup short grain rice
- 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
- 3 1/4 cups boiling chicken stock
- large pinch of saffron - crushed fine
- salt and pepper
- 8 oz squid
- 8 oz octopus
- 6 large shrimp
- 1/4 cup of red pepper
- 1/4 cup of green pepper
- 4 oz each of Italian and green beans – can use frozen
- I cook the chicken and chorizo in the olive oil then add the onion and garlic and fry until softened. I add the paprika and rice I saute the rice mixture for about 4 minutes. . While the rice is cooking I boil the stock and dissolve the paprika in s bit of the stock When the rice has cooked for about 4 – 6 minutes I add the tomatoes, stock, dissolved paprika and salt and pepper. This mixture gets boiled for about 20 minutes (less time if you live at a lower altitude) and then I lay the seafood and vegetables on top of the rice mixture. I gradually reduce the heat and simmer until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Then I cover the paella pan, remove it from heat and let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes before serving. ALL DONE! And don’t forget – the very best part is the brown crust bits in on the bottom of the pan. Usually these bits get reserved for guests. When we dine alone it is every man/woman for themselves!