Thursday, July 29th, 2010 | posted by wendy
A spectacular medley of colors and tastes — Spain’s world famous rice dish. Vary this recipe as you wish. Different types of shellfish, pork and poultry can be added … just be sure to keep the basic proportions the same:
• 10 – 15” paella pan
• 1/2 tsp. Spanish saffron threads
• Approximately 6 cups of Monahan’s fish stock (or homemade chicken stock boiled with shrimp shells)
• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 12 large shrimp in the shell
• 2-3 links Spanish chorizo sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
• 6-8 chicken thighs or a cut-up chicken cut into about 12 pieces
• Approximately 3 cups of Valencian rice (unwashed)
• 24 Pacific Manila clams or 18 small littleneck clams*
• course salt to taste
• 12 whole langostinos (lobsterettes), or 2 lobsters (1 1/4 lbs., split and divided into tail sections and claws), or 3 lobster tails (split)* 6-8 oz. each
• 18 mussels (scrubbed and bearded)**
• 6 Spanish pimentos (roasted red peppers) coarsely chopped or in strips
• sprigs of fresh parsley
• about a cup of frozen peas
• 3 lemons cut into wedges
The paella is traditionally cooked outdoors over a grill, but it can certainly be cooked indoors too. You may need to use 2 burners on the stove if the larger paella pan is being used. (Check shellfish details at the bottom of this recipe if cooking indoors.)
Simmer 1/2 tsp. of saffron threads in the fish stock for 30 minutes, then set aside to use later.
Place paella pan over heat source (high heat if cooking indoors). When the pan is hot, add the olive oil. When oil is hot (but not smoking), add the shrimp, split lobster tails and scallops and sauté for 4-5 minutes or until the scallops are seared and shrimp is almost cooked through. Remove the seafood and set aside.Add the chicken to the hot pan and season with a liberal amount of course salt and brown on all sides. Once chicken is browned, add the chorizo sausage and simmer for a few minutes, then add about 1/2 cup of rice for each serving, and stir to coat with oil. Add a pinch of salt and sauté the rice for about 4-5 minutes, or until it starts to turn transparent. Begin to ladle the saffron and stock (reserved from before) in slowly, about 1 cup or stock for each 1/2 cup of rice used. Without stirring, let the rice cook until it is about half done (about 5 minutes or until rice is soft and semi-transparent) arrange the clams and mussels — seam side down — in a ring around the edge of the pan. After a few minutes, lay the shrimp, scallops and the pimentos in the middle of the paella, and the langostinos/lobster as points running out of the center (like a compass). Garnish the paella with peas and parsley. When the rice is al dente and the clams and mussels have opened, remove the paella from heat and serve. Serves 6.
* You can also garnish the dish with a whole cooked lobster (steamed separately) rather than split lobster tails cooked in the paella (as pictured)
** Because of the thickness of littleneck clam shells, we recommend that you steam them until just open in advance, because they are unlikely to open in an uncovered pot. Manila clams have a thinner shell, so they should open according to the recipe.
*** Mussels will open using this method if cooked over an outdoor grill. However, if you are cooking the paella over the stove (inside), we recommend that you steam the mussels until just open before adding to the paella.