Paella

paella

I had company over tonight.  Auntie Juanita, Uncle Carlos (their last name is Chong in case you are wondering), cousin Teresa and her husband Eli.  I usually make paella in a single pan, but this recipe works well for company because of the larger quantities and the ability to regulate cooking times so each component comes out cooked for the right period of time.

Paella

  •  One dozen live clams
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cornmeal
  • Water to cover
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves., minced
  • ½ large red pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ tsp saffron
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 pound chorizo, kielbasa, or garlic sausage, cut into ½ inch slices
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp sherry
  • 8 oz frozen peas, defrosted
  • 8 oz frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted
  • One dozen large shrimp, head and shells removed (freeze head and shells for seafood stock)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup parsley.

  Put clams in a large bowl; cover them with cold water, add salt and cornmeal.  Let sit for at least ½ hour to allow clams to disgorge their sand.

 In a sauce pan. combine broth and saffron and bring to a boil to diffuse saffron into broth.  In a large skillet, heat 2 tsp olive oil over medium-high heat, add chopped onion, garlic and red pepper.  Saute until onion is translucent.  Add rice, hot broth and saffron.

 In a separate medium skillet heat up remaining 1 tsp olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add chicken pieces.,  When they begin to lose their pink color, sprinkle them with paprika.  When chicken is lightly browned, add sausage. Stir occasionally until sausage and chicken are well browned.  Lower heat to medium and cook about 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.  Turn off heat.

 When broth in the rice skillet has evaporated, turn heat to low and cover.  Cook for about 15 minutes or until rice is almost al dente.

 Drain clams and put them with sherry in the sauce pot you previously used to heat up broth and saffron.  Cover and steam clams over medium high heat for about 15 minutes or until they are fully opened.  Turn off heat.

When rice is not quite al dente, raise heat to medium high and add peas, artichoke hearts and shrimp.  Stir to mix vegetables and shrimp evenly into rice mixture. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes or until shrimp turn pink.

 Mix chicken/sausage mixture into the rice. Add ground pepper to taste. Spoon rice mixture into a serving dish,.  Using tongs, top rice mixture with steamed clams (do not add any that did not open) and sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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