Monday, August 24, 2009

Paella for the Sea Fearing - Coast to Coast Challenge 2

It's time for another recipe chosen for Bakespace's Coast to Coast Cooking! This time we chose Paella which can be made in so many ways to please all palates. If you've been reading my blog for a while you know that Steve and I are the rare few Italians that do not like seafood. We like fried calamari and sushi and I'll eat tuna salad but that's about it. So my version of paella contains chicken and chorizo. It's very similar to arroz con pollo but the chorizo gives it a totally different and fabulous flavor.

I learned a few things while researching paella recipes and ingredients. There are different types of chorizo, raw which is like Italian sausage, dried which is like soppresatta. They come hot and mild, portugese, spanish, etc. I used dried spanish sausage called Palacios. In my area this can found at Kings Supermarket, Wegmans Supermarket and Fairway Market. I used one package of it which I think was only about 1/2 pound. It's less than the recipe called for but was so flavorful that I don't think I would have needed any more. The rice that should be used is a short grain spanish rice called Bomba or Valencia. I could not find this anywhere so I used Italian short grain rice called Arborio. This rice is usually used for risotto. I'm not really sure why a long grain rice can't be used for this. I think that it would result in a drier rice which is what I was looking for. Next time, I will try it that way,

The recipe that we used is Paella a la Valenciana. This is a traditional paella recipe that we started with. As always in these challenges, we get to make these our own and change them in any way we see fit. I decided to look for another recipe that doesn't contain seafood and found one by Paula Deen. I followed her recipe and then threw in a chicken breast for Steve and some spanish olives at the end. I didn't use the lemon, I just didn't think I'd want to mask the flavor with lemon. I served this to Steve's family and it was a big hit. I'm glad I got to try this out!

Check out how all the other participants' recipes came out! Spryte and Dani even have guest bloggers who participated in the challenge. Click their links to see them all.

PhotobucketShane from Culinary Alchemy

PhotobucketSpryte of Spryte's Place

PhotobucketDanielle of Cooking for my Peace of Mind

PhotobucketMonica from Alaskan Dermish in the Kitch

Spanish Chicken and Chorizo Paella

by Paula Deen


1/4 cup olive oil
1 chicken, cut legs, drumsticks and thighs
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1 large onion, diced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 pound Spanish style chorizo links, cut into slices on the bias
2 cups short-grain rice (recommended: Valencia or Arborio)
Pinch saffron threads
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
Lemon wedges, for service


Heat a paella pan or very large, shallow skillet or pot, preferably with 2 handles over high heat.

Cook's note: A large cast iron skillet would work here.

Pour in the olive oil and let it heat up. Season the chicken all over with salt, pepper and paprika. Sear in the olive oil until browned all over. Transfer to a plate with tongs.

Lower the heat to medium and saute the onions and bell pepper until softened. Stir in the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, and chorizo. Bring the liquid to a boil and then stir in the rice and saffron. Add the browned chicken pieces. The rice should be completely covered with liquid. Cook the paella without stirring for 20 minutes. When the liquid has all been absorbed, pour the peas over the top of the pot, turn off the heat and cover the pot with a kitchen towel. Let stand 5 minutes and then serve with lemon wedges.


Spryte said...


Your version sounds so good too!!!!

Zoe said...

These all look and sound delicious! Paella is definitely a challenge

Unknown said...

Ooh... I really like your version. My boyfriend is allergic to shellfish, so he could never have a traditional paella... but this we could do!

The Moon Muse said...

Ditto on the YUM!!!

Denise said...

I have never made paella, love to eat it, you make it seem like I could actually do it.

matt74 said... your dish..i have a lot of friends just like you seafood many different reasons as to why they don't like it..but they always love meat! I'll have to give it a shot for sure.

DDpie said...

This is so awesome. I love the non-seafood version (actually I love all the different versions) My stomach is so growling on this tour! LOL

Bob said...

Yay a non seafood version! :D Looks fantastic, I would totally eat that.

La Bella Cooks said...

I LOVE paella! This one sounds especially delicious with all the seafood.

Unknown said...

Michele YUM!! It turned out so good! I wish I had found the dried spanish sausage you used. I'm having so much fun with our cook-offs! :)

teresa said...

ooh wow, this looks so good, well done!

Shane T. Wingerd said...

Most Excellent Michele!! I was wondering if the dried version of Chorizo would be similar to Sopressata. YUM!

Patti T. said...

It is so much fun looking at all the variations on this recipe, they are all so delicious looking, yet all so very different. Great job Michele.