Paella

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Paella3.jpg

Ingredients: (per person)

½ cup uncooked Rice per person (Use Bomba or Velencia rice.)

1 cup chicken stock per person

5 threads saffron per person dissolved in a little white wine

Olive oil, to cover bottom of pan

2 or 3 pieces of chicken, wing "drumettes", per person

2 or 3 pieces chorizo, per person

2 or 3 meatballs - pork, beef, cinnamon, pine nuts - per person

1 clove garlic per person, minced

¼ cup chopped onion per person

⅛ cup grated tomato (officially, cut in half, grate and discard the skin. Or be lazy and just run it all through the blender) per person

artichoke hearts, green beans, cannellini beans, okra, green peppers, peas, etc.

lemon wedges for garnish

salt to taste


Cooking:

Heat stock in a separate stock pot.

Crush saffron and add it to a little bit of white wine.

Heat paella pan over medium heat, add olive oil and fry chicken until it begins to brown.

Add other meats (chorizo and meatballs) and sauté until cooked.

Next add garlic, onions and green peppers and sauté until translucent.

Add the rice, stirring until well coated with oil.

Add the grated tomato.

Stir while cooking for a few minutes.

Add saffron flavored wine and hot stock.  Add stock and water to bring the level up to the rivets that hold the handles on.  No matter how much you're making in the pan, always fill it to that level so everything cooks.  That's part of the genius of the cooking - the wide flat pan allows for evaporation.  (I have several sized pans.  When you buy one it will be listed as "20 servings" or "10 servings"  That's a maximum.  You can use a pan to half that number with no problem.)

Bring to a boil while scraping the bottom of pan.

Now the rice should be level and you will not need to stir from this point on. Adjust heat to maintain a nice simmer. When the rice has absorbed a good amount of liquid but still has a soupy appearance add the artichoke hearts, green beans, beans and peas.

Continue to cook until the bubbling ends - all the moisture has been absorbed or evaporated. During this time the rice should be caramelizing on the bottom of the pan. Set aside to “rest” for 5-10 minutes.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley, garnish with lemon wedges and serve.


Paella0.jpg

Notes:

Sometimes I forget to add the artichoke hearts, or we forget to serve it with lemon wedges.   The lemon really makes the flavors bloom - definitely worth the try.


VEGAN or VEGETARIAN VERSION

The parts that tends to get lost with a veggie version are the saltiness and the different textures.  I generally use a variety of veggies: cauliflower, onions, peppers, eggplant, okra, beans (limas, canelloni, fava, navy).  For salty, I like to add a bunch of calamata olives - pitted and halved. Do the same with everything as above, but use a veggie stock.  Add the veggies in the order of those that need to highest heat, longest cooking first - essentially the way I have them listed.


OVEN

You can also use an oven if you find that your pan is too large to cook on the stove top, even with occasionally moving the pan around on the burner(s). Begin your recipe on the stove top but after adding the liquid carefully move your paella pan into the oven (350-400) Once rice is done return it to the stove top to create the caramelized layer of rice on the bottom of the pan.


BBQ PAELLA

Cooking a paella on a BBQ is easy because the cooking sequence follows the natural cycle of the fire. Once you have established a good, hot bed of coals, you brown the chicken & any other meats in olive oil, then add chopped onions & sauté gently. The fire only needs to remain hot enough to bring the liquid to a boil when you add the rice. Once it has reached boiling, the rice can slowly simmer, absorbing the juices from the other ingredients, along with the color, flavor & aroma of the saffron. The fire can die down slowly while the rice cooks.

Paella 1.jpg


Where to get a Paella Pan...

I got mine from The Spanish Table.  They are right here in Seattle, and they also ship.  They sell stands, too.  If you are handy with a welding torch or arc-welder, do as I did, and make one from re-bar or angle iron from a waste bin.   I really, really like having a three leg (triangle) stand.  I place it in the fire pit and hammer down the legs until it looks level.  I then set the pan on the stand with some oil or water in it to test if it is level.  If not, adjust by pounding the legs down a bit more. (i.e., use the pan as a "level")  Remove the pan, and build the fire.