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Recipe: Seafood and Chorizo Paella

This classic Spanish dish orginated in Valencia, where it is traditionally made with rabbit, chicken, and snails. The contemporary version here is filled with delectable vegetables, sausage, and shellfish--but the real treat in either case is the rice. It soaks up the flavors of all the ingredients, including onion, garlic, tomatoes, smoked paprika, and a saffron-scented mixture of stock and wine. Cooked in a large, wide pan, paella makes the perfect dish for entertaining. Just place the pan in the middle of the table so guests can help themselves, and pour a chilled Spanish rosé.

Ingredients

Serves
6-8
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 1/2 ounces Glace de Poulet Gold® dissolved in 4 cups hot water
  • 3/4 ounce Glace de Fruits de Mer Gold® or 1 tablespoon Fumet de Poisson Gold® dissolved in 2 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (not extra virgin) or vegetable oil
  • 6 ounces Spanish chorizo sausage, casings removed
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 large or 2 medium tomatoes (12-14 ounces total), cut in small dice
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 1/2 cups Spanish bomba or Valencia rice, or other medium-grain white rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (9 ounces) frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
  • 3 commercially prepared roasted red peppers, cut in 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/4 pounds small littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 24 mussels, scrubbed and debearded

Methods/steps

  1. Bring the wine to a simmer in a small saucepan and crumble the saffron threads into it.  Remove from the heat and let the saffron steep for 15 minutes, then combine the mixture with the dissolved Glace de Poulet Gold® and the dissolved Glace de Fruits de Mer Gold® in a large liquid measuring cup or mixing bowl.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Warm the olive oil in a 16- to 18-inch paella pan (see note below) over medium-high heat.  Add the chorizo and sauté until browned, breaking it up into pieces as it cooks.  You may need to rotate the pan over a burner or use more than one burner to maintain an even heat.  When the chorizo is  browned and cooked through, remove it from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and sauté over medium heat until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the tomato and its juices, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is very thick and darker in color, 5-10 minutes.  Stir in the smoked paprika.
  4. Add the rice to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, 1-2 minutes.  Stir in the saffron/wine/stock mixture and 1 teaspoon of salt, then add the reserved chorizo, the artichoke hearts, peas, and roasted red peppers.  Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and scatter the shrimp over the rice, then nestle in the clams and mussels, hinged side down.  Place the pan in the oven and bake until the liquid is absorbed, the rice is al dente, and the clams and mussels are open, about 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat, cover with aluminum foil, and let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

Additional Tips

A paella pan is a wide, shallow, steel pan with two handles.  Relatively inexpensive, it's a good investment if you enjoy making paella.  If you don't have a paella pan, use a 14-inch (or wider) stainless steel skillet or divide the ingredients between two medium-size skillets.

Wine Pairing: In addition to a dry Spanish Rosé, a dry French Rosé or a medium-bodied Spanish white wine such as a white Rioja or Albarino would work well.

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