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Paella

Harvest is a communal and intense time of the year. It is when everyone comes together to “get it done.” I like to think of paella as an end-of-summer version of a winter fondue, a communal dish, something to share around one table.

I cook my paella over an outdoor wood fire. It runs around 400º F or 200º C. It is easily done over your stovetop as well. Be sure to get the hard Spanish chorizo rather than the soft, fresh Mexican variety. 

This is definitely the time you want to follow best practices and prepare your mise en place. Paella is built in stages, and you’ll want to be ready in advance. 

Ingredients

Equipment

45 cm/18-inch Paella pan
Chef Knife
Tongs

Ingredients

1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
Eight chicken thighs
4 ounces Spanish chorizo, diced into 0.5 cm/0.25-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
One medium Spanish onion, diced
One medium red bell pepper, diced
Two cloves of garlic, thinly sliced or minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
500 grams/2 ½ cups paella rice, such as Matiz
1 gram/ 0.3 ounce saffron threads
700 grams/24 ounces chopped tomatoes, canned are good
1900 milliliters/8 cups of chicken or seafood stock
Selection of seafood, about 30 total: clams, mussels, shrimp
225 grams/1 cup green peas
Chopped parsley for garnish
12 lemon wedges

How To Make

1
Combine the smoked paprika, dried oregano, and salt. Rub the mixture over the chicken thighs. Let set from one hour or up to overnight in the refrigerator.
2
Heat oil in the large paella pan over fire or medium heat, and sauté chorizo till nicely browned. Transfer to a small bowl reserving the oil in the paella pan.
3
Over medium heat, add the two tablespoons of olive oil to the reserved chorizo oil. In two batches, add chicken thighs skin side down and brown for about four minutes on each side. Remove and reserve with chorizo leaving the fat in the paella pan.
4
In a pot, heat the stock to simmer.
5
To the paella pan, add the onion and red pepper. Cook over medium heat till tender, about ten minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add tomato paste and let carmelize for one minute.
6
Add rice and stir to coat with fat and tomato paste. Add saffron and tomatoes. Add back the chorizo. Add the heated stock and stir to distribute evenly.
7
Cook undisturbed for 12 minutes. By not stirring after this point you will create a nice crust on the bottom of the pan with the rice, called socarrat. Add chicken thighs, tucking into the rice. Let simmer for an additional five minutes. Add shellfish of choice, tucking into the rice. Simmer an additional five to eight minutes until rice is tender and shellfish is cooked through. Sprinkle with peas and cook an additional two minutes.
8
Remove from heat, cover with foil, and let rest for ten minutes. Uncover and garnish with chopped parsley, serve with lemon wedges.

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