• 3 C. bomba or calasparra rice (arborio risotto works as a substitute)
• 8 C. chicken stock
• 1 large onion, diced
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 large bell pepper, diced
• 10 -15 flat green beans
• 4 plum tomatoes, diced
• ½ (4 ounce) can tomato paste
• 15 large shrimp (feel free to add clams, calamari, prawns or mussels)
• 2 -3 lbs. chicken legs or thighs
• 4 links chorizo sausages, sliced into 1 inch pieces
• 1⁄2 C. fresh parsley
• 2 1/2 T. fresh thyme
• 1⁄2 T. paprika
• 1 pinch saffron
• 3 lemons, quartered
1. It’s best to have all of your ingredients prepared before you start cooking this recipe.
2. Prepare the chicken by lightly salting.
3. I peel my shrimp, leaving only the tail and then salt them.
4. I always try to make my chicken stock from scratch (time permitting), adding a bit of rosemary, a tiny pinch of saffron and a bit of thyme. If you’re going to use bouillon, I’d recommend at least heating it up with these herbs and then straining before you start.
5. Keep your stock hot but not boiling as you cook.
6. Coat the bottom of your pallera/pan with olive oil.
7. Brown your chorizo over high heat for 1-2 minutes. Do not fully cook, just get the outside well browned. Set aside. This should add a nice red color and a great flavor to your oil.
8. Brown the chicken for 2-3 minutes. It should not be fully cooked. Set aside.
9. Brown garlic, onion and bell pepper until they are softened, adding plum tomatoes shortly before the mixture is finished.
10. Push the vegetables to one side of the pan and on the other add the half can of tomato paste. Caramelize it, flipping it and spreading it until it begins to loosen (1-2 min over high heat).
11. Mix all of the vegetables and meats together with the caramelized tomato paste also adding the paprika, parsley and thyme.
12. Add rice, mixing together and stirring as the rice browns (1-1 1/2) minutes. As the rice browns mix in the saffron. Make sure to break up the saffron between your fingers and stir it in to release all those tasty oils.
13. When the rice is slightly translucent, add enough chicken stock to cover the whole mixture. If the stock has been kept warm, it will begin to boil almost immediately. Lower to a medium heat but keep it at a steady boil.
14. This is where paella is perfected. I stir a few times in the first 5-10 minutes, adding broth as necessary to keep the rice fully covered. After, you must let the paella rest. Let it cook another 10-20 minutes (I find that this step takes longer on a stovetop), adding broth bit by bit to keep the rice submerged until the rice on the top is al dente. Do not worry about rice burning to the bottom, this part is a tasty delicacy.
15. Once you have stirred the paella for the last time let it cook. When you have about 8 minutes left to cook, lay shrimp on top if the rice, turning over after 2-4 minutes to cook other side.
16. When the rice on top is still quite al dente, take paella off the heat and cover. You must let it sit for 15-20 minutes. I have taken the lid off prematurely and ended up with a crunchy mess. Patience is the key.
17. Once you are sure it is ready, uncover and garnish with lemon wedges and enjoy!
Bon Appétit, Dean Stefanic