Friday, October 14, 2011

Paella: The Works

There are so many different versions of paella, a traditional Spanish dish made with rice.

There is a restaurant in NYC called Socarrat Paella Bar and they serve 19 different delicious versions. Each region of Spain has their own specialty. The "socarrat" is the yummy burned crust that stays at the bottom of the pan where the rice sticks. Yummy stuff.

You can make it on the stove, in the oven or on the grill.

Some have rabbit, some have seafood only and some are made with black squid ink.

My version is a hodge podge, but a delicious one. I use Spanish chorizo, chicken thighs and seafood along with real saffron threads and roasted red peppers. It's really delicious. I make it up as I go, so feel free to substitute whatever you like in the pan. I like mine with the works, shell fish, chicken and sausage, as well as roasted red peppers, artichokes and peas. It's all good!

A note about the rice. You should use a short grain rice, such as Bomba, Valencia or Arborio (which is used for risotto). Don't use long grain or Basmati rice in a paella, it won't work.

Stacey's Paella: serves 8

2 cups of short grain Spanish rice (such as Bomba, Valencia or Arborio)
1 quart of chicken stock
1 large onion, chopped
1 large tomato or red bell pepper chopped (either or)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
8 boneless chicken thighs
1 tbsp smoked paprika (Spanish pimenton)
kosher salt & pepper
2 links of Spanish chorizo sausage, casings removed and sliced
1 tsp of real saffron threads
hot pepper flakes
1/2 lb. of scallops (I use sea scallops and cut them in half, but you can use bay scallops)
1/2 lb. medium sized shrimp, peeled & deveined
mussels and clams (optional)
can of artichoke hearts, drained (optional)
1/2 cup defrosted peas
1 roasted red pepper, sliced into strips (for garnish)
handful of Manzanilla olives (optional)
fresh parsley & lemon slices for the top

Season the chicken thighs with kosher salt & pepper. Sprinkle with the tablespoon of smoked paprika (pimenton).

In a large deep heavy skillet or paella pan, heat olive oil and cook the chicken thighs for a few minutes until most of the pink is out (the chicken will finish cooking with the rice).

Add the chopped onion, red pepper flakes, garlic, chorizo, red pepper or tomato to the chicken and cook about 6 minutes, until the onion and garlic are softened. Season with salt.

Add the 2 cups of rice and stir for a minute to coat the rice and chicken.

Add half the stock with the saffron and bring to a boil. Cover and turn the heat to low and simmer about 10 minutes. Check the rice to make sure the liquid is absorbing and add the rest of the stock and cook another 10 minutes with the lid on until the rice is tender.

The last 5 minutes of cooking, add the peas, artichokes (if using) shrimp and scallops, mussels and clams, until the shells open. Cover and cook 5 minutes until the seafood is cooked thru.

Garnish the top with olives and roasted red pepper slices.

Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with fresh parsley and lemon slices and pass the paella!

Have a great weekend!


angicoock said...

Looks delicious!!!!
Happy W E

kat said...

Oh man a real good Spanish paella. I got addicted to them while living above a restaurant in Segovia Spain for a week.

Proud Italian Cook said...

It looks absolutely beautiful Stacey! Love the artichokes and red pepper addition.

Nikki said...

I love Soccarat paella bar in was so amazing!

Joanne said...

I was going to say that I should try to get myself to that restaurant as soon as possible...but really I should just try to get myself to your place.

oui Chef said...

Paella had such great flavors and is perfect for a crowd (you must have fed the whole neighborhood with this dish), thanks for reminding me of its awesomeness!

Stacey Snacks said...

I made it for our block party!

Rosemary said...

I haven't made this in a long time; you've reminded me how good it is and free-style it can be. A great one-pot comfort meal.

tasteofbeirut said...

Love paella, especially cooked outdoors in a huge paella pan (by someone else!); your version looks fabulous. I can't help but think that the burned bottom soccarat must be an Andalusian term with moorish origins. Wonder.The tradition of the toasted rice bottom exists in the middle-east.

Lori Lynn said...

Wow! Gorgeous paella! Love the addition of artichoke hearts and olives.