This was my second time making paella and I thought I'd try a different recipe this time. I found this recipe after watching Bobby Flay's Paella throwdown and it was the winning dish. The flavor was quite tasty but I ran into some difficulty with the cooking method. Since the entire dish is cooked on the stove top I found all the ingredients at the top of the pot did not fully cook so I had to throw the whole thing in the oven for an extra ten minutes covered with the lid. But even then the rice on top didn't finish cooking. I was afraid the dish would dry out if I continued cooking it, so I cut my losses and ate around the "al dente" rice. While the flavor was good I think next time I'll use the cooking method from Cook's Illustrated paella instead. Therefore, the following is a hybrid of the two recipes taking the best of both worlds.
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1 1/2 head garlic, with cloves detached but not skinned
• 2 red peppers or piquillo peppers (cored, seeded and sliced)
• 1 lb chicken, preferably legs and thighs with bone in (I used skinless, boneless, breasts
• 1 lb Spicy Italian chicken sausage (I bought mine from Henry's Farmer's Market)
• 2 yellow onions, chopped
• 1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
• 3 cups chicken stock (Imagine Organic Chicken Stock from Henry's)
• 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
• 1 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (Spanish)
• 2 cups short-grain rice (uncooked)
• 1/2 cup frozen peas
• 16 large shrimp (21/25 count)
• 2 6 oz lobster tails
• 2 lemons, cut into wedges, for garnish
Split lobster tails down middle and remove flesh and cut into bite size pieces. Season shrimp and cut lobster pieces with salt and pepper and refrigerate.
1. Heat the paella pan (or any large, flat bottomed saute pan) over medium-high heat, add olive oil, garlic and peppers season with salt and peppper. Saute peppers until peppers start to blister. Season with salt and pepper
2. Remove peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces and set aside.
3. Remove casing from sausage and add sausage to pan – season with salt and pepper and cook almost all the way through then set aside and cut into bite size pieces. Add chicken season with salt and pepper to pot and cook until golden.
4. Add the onions and saute until translucent.
5. Meanwhile, crush the saffron with the smoked paprika in a mortar and pestle and add it to the stock.
6. Add the sausage, tomatoes and the stock and reduce the sofrito base down for about a half hour.
7. Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 350F and adjust oven rack to lower middle position. Taste the sofrito and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Stir in the rice, cover pot and transfer to oven; cook until rice absorbs almost all liquid, about 15 minutes
8. Remove pot from oven (close oven door to retain heat). Uncover pot; Add the bell peppers, peas and scatter shrimp and lobster over rice. Cover and return to oven; cook until shrimp and lobster are opaque, 15-20 minutes.
9. Finish dish with squirts of lemon and serve with lemon wedges.
Labels: Seafood - Wednesday, April 28, 2010