Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Paella with Chicken and Chorizo

I promised you good things. 

I don't break promises!

Trust me. This is a very, very good thing.

Mr. S and I have made many a paella. He got me a paella set for Christmas a year or two ago. It came with a pan, a jar of safron, special rice, a jar of sofrito, and a bottle of Spanish red wine. Unfortunately, the initial shipment got jostled too much and the sofrito jar broke and spilled everywhere! The pan had gotten the worst of it, and had begun to rust in spots.

After I joyfully opened my gift, discovered the mess and the rusted pan, and Mr. S nearly exploded, we called the company and they shipped us a new kit. 

Meanwhile, I got out my steel wool. And got rid of the rust. 

Now we have TWO paella pans!! The more the merrier. (And we were definitely merrier after the second bottle of wine arrived too. Woot!)

So here's the thing - Paella really isn't hard. It just takes special stuff. Once you get that stuff, you're on your way to some wonderful meals. 

Start off with the chicken. Coat it in paprika (both regular and smoked if you've got it) and oregano.

Then slice up the chorizo or salami and fry it up. It will release a lot of oil. That's good, since we're not going to be adding any....

Once the cured meat is browned, remove it from the pan and put the chicken in. Skin side down first. Brown it nicely on both sides.

Remove the chicken and add in the sofrito. That's right. That delicious veggie sauce you made. Add a whole cup!

And toss in some large chunks of red pepper too. Color and texture right there.

In a small pot, get your chicken stock warmed up. Add in the safron threads.

Once the sofrito's cooked down a bit, add the rice to the paella pan. 

Toss it around to coat it. 

Then add the chicken stock/safron. It probably won't all fit. That's ok. You can add more later.

Let the rice cook for 10 minutes - and NO STIRRING!!

After 10 minutes, nestle the chicken down in the rice, add the chorizo back in and cover with the rest of the chicken stock. Allow that to cook on medium heat for about 10-15 more minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. 

Remove from the heat and add peas, olives, and chopped cilantro. 

Serve on a patio table, with red wine and a happy husband.

Paella with Chicken and Chorizo
Serves 2-3
Adapted from Tyler Florence

2 chicken leg quarters
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 Spanish chorizo sausage (or Italian salami if you can't find chorizo)
1 cup sofrito
1 red bell pepper
2 c. chicken stock
1/2 tsp safron threads (one large pinch)
1 c. paella rice
5-6 black and green olives, quartered
1/4 c. frozen peas, thawed
chopped cilantro for garnish

Special equipment: 10" paella pan

Take the chicken leg quarters and remove any extra rib bones so that you are left with just the thigh and the leg. Leave the skin on. Sprinkle with paprikas and oregano and rub in to coat. 

Bring your chicken stock to a boil in a small pot.

Put your paella pan on medium-low heat. Slice the chorizo or salami into 1/4" thick rounds. Place in pan and let brown. Remove chorizo from pan, but retain oil.

Place chicken, skin side down into the pan and allow to brown on both sides. Remove from pan.

Pour the sofrito into the paella pan. Raise the heat to medium high. Chop the red pepper into bite sized pieces (removing seeds and pith) and put in pan with sofrito. Allow to cook down for at least 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle the safron into the chicken stock while the sofrito and peppers are cooking.

Gently pour the rice into the paella pan, and toss it to coat the grains. Pour the chicken stock/safron mixture into the pan (it might not all fit, that's ok) and allow to cook for 10 minutes. No stirring!!

After 10 minutes, nestle the chicken quarters and chorizo back down in the pan. Add the rest of the broth. Allow to cook on medium heat for another 10-15 minutes. If you smell burning, the rice is done! Burning is just part of paella. It's a flavor you want!

Remove the paella from the heat and top with peas, olives, and cilantro. Allow it to rest 5 minutes before you serve it.

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