Sunday, December 11, 2011


Going into this, I knew it wasn't going to be amazing paella with a crusty bottom and perfect seafood flavor absorbed into the rice.  For starters, I don't have a cast iron pan, and I didn't have any shrimp or mussels on hand.  So it was a really tasty rice dinner with a paella inspired flair.  Even though it wasn't traditional, it still made a good dinner with fairly little fuss.

Paella (of sorts)
What you'll need:
2 large sausage links
1/2 pound or about 6 chicken tenders
3 cloves garlic smashed and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon ground mexican oregano
1 medium onion sliced in large pieces
1 1/2 red pepper sliced (you could use a combination of red and green, I only had red on hand)
1 large pinch saffron (larger the better)
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup carnaroli or arborio rice (or any short grain)
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 can large black olives
2 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper

Add saffron to hot water and let steep while you cook the meats. In a large pan with a lid, cook sausage.  Remove from pan, slice into bite size rounds, set aside.  Leave sausage drippings and little burned bits.  Cook chicken, slice into bite size pieces, set aside with sausage.  Cook onion and red/green pepper until onions are translucent and tender.  Add garlic, oregano and one teaspoon black pepper. Saute until garlic is fragrant.  Add wine, saffron tea, and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil and rice.  Give it a stir, reduce heat to medium low and let cook for 10 minutes.  Add chicken, sausage and black olives.  Now cover and let cook for 30 minutes.  Rice should have absorbed most of the water but still quite a bit has pooled at the top.  Add peas and remaining pepper and fold until evenly distributed.  Test rice, if it doesn't seem like you have enough liquid left in the pan you may need to add another 1/2 cup water.  Cover, do not stir again, and let cook for another 15-20 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed and the rice is begging to brown on the bottom.  Make sure your burner is on medium low.  Thats it!

So thats my half effort of paella.  Someday I'm going to make it for real.  You could add shrimp in there when you add the peas and it would get it one step closer to the real thing.  The reason I wanted to make Paella is because Costo had this little jar or saffron in the spices a few weeks ago and I couldn't pass it up (it was a little pricy though).  Paella was one dish I knew required saffron.  I want to try a dessert with it next.  So stay tuned for that!  Enjoy!

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