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Paella Valenciana

Yields 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
5 bacon slices, chopped
2 chicken leg/thigh pieces
2 chicken breasts
2 cups chopped onions (about 2 medium onions)
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups Valencia-style rice or pearl rice (a thicker, shorter grain)
1 seven-ounce jar roasted sliced pimentos with juice
1 teaspoon crushed saffron threads
2 cups canned seafood stock
1 to 2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
1 pound chorizo (sausage), sliced into inch-thick pieces
1 pound large uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 dozen clams, scrubbed very well
1 dozen mussels, scrubbed very well
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
Lemon wedges



Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450ºF.

2. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp, (about 6 minutes). Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Leave liquid in pan.

3. Season chicken legs and breasts with salt and pepper. Add chicken to the bacon fat in the frying pan and cook over medium heat until brown on all sides. This takes about 7 minutes per side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

4. Add onions and garlic to pan and sauté until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in roasted pimientos with its juices, rice, saffron, seafood stock and chicken stock to a pot and allow mixture to simmer for 20 minutes. If the liquid goes down, add more stock. Remove from heat.

5. Pour rice mixture into a paella pan. Arrange chicken, sausage slices, shrimp, clams and mussels in rice mixture. Sprinkle with chopped bacon, peas and any other vegetable you desire. In Spain, asparagus is a common addition.

6. Cover with foil.

7. Bake paella until chicken is cooked through, clams and mussels have opened; and rice is tender, which should take about 40 minutes. Remove foil or lid from baking dish. Let paella stand 10 minutes. Add lemon wedges as a garnish around pan.