Mar 8, 2009

Paella! ole

Paella!
To make a kosher version of paella, simply use chicken and any spicy sausage that is available.

For vegetarian paella, try any mixture of beans, asparagus, mushrooms, squash, and parboiled new potatoes.


Ingredients
2 chicken breast fillets
3 tablespoons smoked spanish paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2  chorizo  or other sausages of your choice
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Spanish (yellow) onion, diced
1 (16-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
2 cups Spanish rice, BOMBA if you can find it- its the best or Goya Medium
1 teaspoon saffron threads
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup green beans
one red pepper sliced in thick wedges


Fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro, for garnish
Spanish olives for garnish
Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions
Rinse the chicken pieces and pat them dry. Mix the paprika with some salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the pieces of chicken; marinate for 30 minutes so the flavor can sink in a bit.

Heat the olive oil in a paella pan or wide shallow skillet over medium-high heat. Quickly cook pepper wedges and green beans, remove to plate.
Place the chicken in the pan, skin-side down and brown on all sides, turning with tongs. Add the sausage and continue to cook until the oil is a vibrant red color. Remove the chicken and sausage to a platter lined with paper towels.


Return the pan to the stove and lower the heat to medium. Make a sofrito by sauteing the garlic, onion, and tomatoes; cook until the mixture caramelizes a bit and the flavors meld; season with salt and pepper, and more smoked paprika. Fold in the rice, stirring to coat the grains. Stir the saffron into the rice. Pour in the water and simmer for 10 minutes, gently moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid. Do not cover or constantly stir like risotto.

Arrange  the reserved chicken and the chorizo on the rice. Give the paella a couple of good stirs to tuck in all the pieces and just let it simmer, without stirring, until the rice is al dente, about 15 minutes. Scatter the green beans on top and continue to cook for 5 minutes, until the paella looks fluffy and moist. The ideal paella has a toasted rice bottom called socarrat. Allow to rest, off the heat for 5 minutes, and garnish with parsley and olives. Serve with lemon wedges.

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