Spanish Paella - 10/27/04

Spanish Paella

Taking its name from the shallow, two-handled metal pan in which it is traditionally cooked, paella can be as simple or as extravagant as time and money permit. Paella originated in Valencia, although many regions of Spain have their own special variations.

24 small clams in the shell
24 mussels in the shell
1 chicken, 3 pounds, cut into serving pieces
Olive oil
1/2 pound chorizo sausages
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 red or green bell peppers, seeded, deribbed and diced
1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
3 cups short-grain white rice
6 cups chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed with a mortar and pestle
1 cup shelled peas, shelled and peeled fava beans, or lima beans
Lemon wedges
Strips of roasted and peeled pimiento pepper, optional

Discard any clams or mussels that do not close to the touch. Scrub them well under running water and pull the beards from the mussels. Place the clams in a bowl of water and the mussels in a dry bowl and store in the refrigerator until needed.

Rinse the chicken pieces and pat dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place a large, deep saute pan over high heat and pour in enough olive oil to film the pan bottom lightly. Add the chicken and brown well on all sides, 8-10 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate; set aside.

If needed, pour a little more olive oil into the oil remaining in the pan and place over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and cook, turning, until firm and browned on all sides, about 5-8 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the sausages to the plate with the chicken. Cut the sausages into chunks and set aside.

Add the shrimp to the same pan and saute over medium-high heat, stirring briskly, until pink and beginning to curl, 2-3 minutes. Again, transfer with the tongs or slotted spoon to the plate holding the other ingredients.

Add the onions to the oil remaining in the pan and saute over medium heat until softened, 5-6 minutes, adding a little more olive oil if needed to prevent scorching. Add the garlic and bell peppers and saute until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes longer. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes longer. Stir in the rice, pour in the chicken stock and add the saffron. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Add the browned chicken and sausages and the peas or beans, pushing them into the rice slightly, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Drain the clams. Scatter the clams, mussels and the reserved shrimp over the top, cover and cook until the clams and mussels open, 4-5 minutes. Discard any clams and mussels that have not opened.

Remove from the heat and let stand for a few minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Serve directly from the pan or spoon onto individual plates. Garnish with lemon wedges and strips of pimiento, if using.

Nutrition Facts

Facts per Serving

Calories: 1050 Fat: 26g Carbohydrates: 96g
Cholesterol: 337mg Sodium: 1135mg Protein: 100g
Fiber: 6g % Cal. from Fat: 22% % Cal. from Carbs: 37%

Serves 6

Reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.
Source: Casual Cuisines of the World - Taverna