Thursday, July 14, 2005

Perfect Paella

I have to tell you about my newest favorite dish. I was graciously invited over for dinner the other night at a friend's house, and she introduced me to Rachel Ray's Paella recipe. Let me tell you that I've had withdrawal ever since. I actually made a mock version of this tonight for dinner for just me and my two children... and despite the fact that we had quite a few ingredients missing; it was still good enough to be eaten by an 8 and 6 year old! I'm going to cook it again Saturday night! I leave out the mussels and add cilantro instead of parsley... and my friend also used cilantro, and left off the mussels for us! The shrimp don't give this a fishy taste, and were excellent - even though we aren't big shrimp people. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Medium
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes !!!
Yield: 8 servings

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups enriched white rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 quart chicken broth or stock
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders, cut into thirds
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3/4 pound chorizo, casing removed and sliced on an angle
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp, 24 shrimp
  • 18 green lipped mussels, cleaned
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 lemons zested
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • Lemon wedges
  • Crusty, bread for passing
In a very wide pan or paella pan, preheated over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, crushed garlic, red pepper flakes, add rice and saute 2 or 3 minutes. Add saffron threads, bay leaf, broth, and thyme and bring liquids to a boil over high heat. Cover the pan with lid or foil and reduce heat to simmer.

In a separate nonstick skillet, over medium high heat brown chicken on both sides in 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add peppers and onions to the pan and cook 3 minutes longer. Add chorizo to the pan and cook 2 minutes more. Remove pan from heat.

After about 13 minutes, add shellfish to the rice pan, nesting them in cooking rice. Pour in peas, scatter lemon zest over the rice and seafood, then cover the pan again. After 5 minutes, remove cover or foil from the paella and discard any unopened mussel shells. Stir rice and seafood mixture and lift out bay and thyme stems, now bare of their leaves. Arrange cooked chicken and peppers, onions and chorizo around the pan. Top with parsley and scallions. Serve with wedges of lemon and warm bread.

Also, on her 30 min. cooking show, she suggests serving this with Spanish cheeses (cheese spreads work fine) and nutty bread crackers/sticks and Greek olives. She also suggests serving Sangria as a drink. My friend made a non-alcoholic Sangria that was excellent.


Episode#: TM1B74
Courtesy of Rachel Ray
Copyright © 2003 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved


Anonymous said...

Rachel Ray is the bomb! I have to try this!

Anonymous said...

I can vouch for this "Perfect Paella" recipe. Our 12 years old daughter, Francesca, homeschooler, saw it and wanted to try it.
She did it all by herself, from scratch, with Mom just checking she didn't get hurt...
It turned out just perfect !
At dinner time we were fighting over the almost empty pan..
Delicious !
Thanks Rachel Ray, and thanks Heather for posting this great recipe !

Sprittibee said...

I'm glad you liked the recipe Roberto! :) It is one of my favorites. I can't believe Francesca made it all by herself! She is so talented.