Chicken Paella, Andalusian Style
Paella is powerful dish. The kind of dish who’s deep flavors and traditions have the ability to transport you to another world or time. Each bite connects you with the long history of humanity, like the smoky voice of passionate flamenco singer. It can seduce you into a wild love affair with its exotic spices and complexities. Ok, enough with the dramatic hyperbole. It’s yummy and deeply satisfying.
7 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp slivered blanched almonds
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp minced parsley
¼ teaspoon crumbled thread saffron
¼ cup dry sherry or white wine
1 chicken, cut into pieces
5 cups chicken broth
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 bay leaf
¼ lb smoked sausage, sliced into coins
28 oz can whole stewed tomatoes
1 ½ Cup sliced mushrooms
2 ½ cup Arborio rice
In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and sauté the almonds and garlic until golden. Transfer to a food processor, add the parsley and saffron, and process to a paste. Stir in the sherry.
Cut the chicken into 2 inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper
Pour the broth into a sauce pan to keep warm over the lowest heat.
Preheat the oven to 400°
Heat the remaining 6 tablespoons oil in a paella pan measuring 18 inches wide. Sauté the chicken over high heat for 5 minutes browning the chicken. Remove to a platter. Reduce the heat and add the onion, green pepper, bay leaf and sausage, and sauté until the onion and pepper are slightly softened. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, and sauté 5 minutes more
Stir in the rice, coating well with the man mixture. Pour in the hot broth and bring to a boil. Add the almond mixture, taste for salt and continue to boil, stirring and rotating the pan occasionally. Add the chicken pieces and any juices from the platter.
Cook uncovered, until the rice is almost al dente, then place in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes until the rice is cooked to taste. If you like peas in your paella add them when the paella comes out of the oven. They will come to heat and maintain their bright green color.
This recipe comes from the classic cookbook: Paella! By Penelope Casas. I recommend this book to any cooks library.