Today is Spanish Paella Day! While we must admit, we don't have a lot of experience making paella, in fact we've never even tried so we figured... why not today. We threw aside all of the warnings of the difficulty and length of time it takes to make a 'real' paella and decided to commit no matter how long it takes. Here's the recipe we tried and tweaked.
3 cups bomba or calasparra rice (arborio risotto works as a substitute)
8 cups chicken stock
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large bell pepper, diced
10 -15 flat green beans
4 plum tomatoes, diced
0.5 (4 ounce) can tomato paste
15 large shrimp (feel free to add clams, calamari, prawns or mussels)
2 -3 lbs rabbit
4 links chorizo sausages, frito sliced into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 -3 tablespoons fresh thyme
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1 pinch saffron
3 lemons, quartered
NOTE: Prepared all of your ingredients before you start cooking.
Prepare the rabbit by separating the legs, cutting remaining meat into small slices and lightly salting. (You can substitute rabbit with chicken legs).
Peel shrimp, leaving only the tail and then salt them.
Pour in chicken stock adding a bit of rosemary, a tiny pinch of saffron and a bit of thyme.
Keep your stock hot (but not boiling) as you cook.
Coat the bottom of your pallea pan with olive oil.
Brown your chorizo over high heat for 1-2 minutes. Do not fully cook, just get the outside well browned. Set aside. This should add a nice red color and delicious flavor to your oil.
Brown the Rabbit (or chicken) for 2-3 minutes. It should not be fully cooked. Set aside.
Brown garlic, onion and bell pepper until they're softened, adding plum tomatoes shortly before the mixture is finished.
Push the vegetables to one side of the pan and on the other add the half can of tomato paste. Caramelize it, 1-2 min over high heat.
Mix all of the vegetables and meats together with the caramelized tomato paste, also add the paprika, parsley and thyme.
Add rice and brown, 1-1 1/2 minutes. As the rice browns mix in the saffron. Make sure to break it between your fingers and stir it in to release all the oils.
When the rice is slightly translucent add enough chicken stock to cover the whole mixture. If it's been kept warm, it will begin to boil almost immediately. Lower to a medium heat but keep it at a steady boil.
Stir a few times in the first 5-10 minutes, adding broth as necessary to keep the rice fully covered. After this you must let the paella sit. Let it cook another 10-20 minutes adding broth bit by bit to keep the rice submerged until the rice on the top is al dente. Don't worry about rice burning to the bottom, this part is a tasty delicacy.
Once you've stirred the paella for the last time and have about 8 minutes left to cook lay shrimp on top, turning over after 2-4 minutes to cook the other side.
When the rice on top is still quite al dente, take paella off of heat and cover. You must let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Patience is key!
Once you're sure it's ready uncover, garnish with lemon wedges and enjoy!
by Craig Chapman