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.
Shane from Culinary Alchemy
Spryte of Spryte's Place
Danielle of Cooking for my Peace of Mind
Monica 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.