The Whaling Bar’s Paella Valencia
(Serves 6-8 guests)
• 1 lb. chicken thighs, medium diced
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 Spanish chorizo sausages, thickly sliced
• Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
• 1 Spanish onion, diced
• 1 each of red, green, and yellow bell peppers cut into medium squares
• 4 garlic cloves, crushed
• 1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, reserve some for garnish
• 1 (15oz.) can of whole tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
• 4 cups short grain Spanish rice
• 6 cups water, warm (you can substitute a light chicken stock or clam juice for this)
• Generous pinch of saffron threads
• 1 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
• 1 dozen PEI mussels
• 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined
• 1/2 cup sweet peas, frozen and thawed
• Lemon wedges, for serving
• 1 large paella pan or wide shallow skillet
• 1 6 quart pot
Using the 6 quart pan, make a sofrito by sautéing ½ of the onions, garlic, and parsley. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes on medium heat, and then fold in the rice and stir-fry to coat the grains. Add saffron. Pour in water and simmer for 10 minutes, gently moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid.
Now using the paella pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken skin-side down and brown on all sides, turning with tongs add salt and freshly ground pepper. Add chorizo and sauté the chorizo until browned. Add peppers and onions and sauté until slightly caramelized. Add shrimp clams and mussels and sauté for about one minute. Then add one cup white wine and cover for 1 minute, this should open clams and mussels.
Add the contents from your 6qt. pot along with your tomatoes to the paella pan. Let simmer until broth is almost gone, while lightly mixing all ingredients.
When the paella is cooked and the rice looks fluffy and moist, turn the heat up for 40 seconds until you can smell the rice toast at the bottom, then it’s perfect.
Cook’s note: The ideal paella has a toasted rice bottom called socarrat.
Remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with peas, parsley and lemon wedges. Enjoy!
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