I have been making Paella for years. It is always a hit when I serve it and thoroughly enjoyed. I originally was inspired by watching my grandmother make it years ago. She would be so meticulous , making sure that the sequence with which each item was cooked was never changed. And then before you knew it, the aromas of the saffron, the chorizo, and peppers would fill the entire house and you'd swear you were in Valencia, Spain, where Paella originated. Though inspired by her, over time I have made this my own with the addition of white wine, garbanzo beans, the anise liquor, and the use of shrimp shells to create a seafood/chicken broth. I miss my grandmother; however, she left me with great memories that come back to life each time I make this wonderful dish. —nonchefnick
6 to 8
5 Boneless and skinless chicken thighs, cut in quarters
1 lb of pork, cut in 1 inch pieces (does not have to be an expensive cut)
3 links of Chorizo saussage, cut in 1/2 inch slices (ask your butcher)
24 fresh clams in their shells
18 fresh mussels in their shells
1/2 lb of sea scallops, cut in half
1/2 lb of unshelled medium sized shrimp
10 to 12 crab legs or claws or 6 to 8 jumbo prawns unshelled and heads on
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 medium red tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup of pitted green olives cut in halves
1/2 cup of pitted black olives cut in halves
1 cup of thawed frozen baby peas (or green beans, cut and parboiled)
1 cup of garbanzo beans (this is unique to my recipe and have found that it works)
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
3 cups of rice (either Bomba or Calasparra)
6 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup of dry white wine
1/4 cup of olive oil
3 tablespoons of anise liquor (Pernod, Ricard, or Uozo)
Before you start cooking, make sure that all your prep work is done. This includes chopping, slicing, and the following. Shell the shrimp, leaving the tails on.
Put the shells in a medium size pot and add the chicken broth.
Bring broth to a boil, lower heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the shells and discard.
Add the saffron and paprika to the broth, cover pot, and keep on warm heat, but do not boil or simmer, just keep it warm. Preheat your oven to 325.
Pour the olive oil in your paella pan and heat oil on high. Saute your chicken and pork until golden brown. Remove from heat and set on a platter. Cover to keep warm
Now saute your chorizo on medium high for about 5 minutes. Add your onions, peppers, and garlic, and saute until onions get translucent.
Now add your shrimp and saute for about 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp and put them in the platter with the chicken and pork.
Stir the onions and peppers and add the anise liquor, then the white wine to deglaze.
Now add the rice and stir well so rice is nicely coated. Next, add the chicken broth to the rice and stir well.
Add the parsley, garbanzo beans, peas, olives, tomato, and pimientos and stir well. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 10 minutes over medium high heat. Stir on occasion so rice doesn't stick to bottom of pan.
Now add the chicken and pork back to the pan, bury the scallops and shrimp in the rice, place the mussels and clams into the rice face up, and place in the oven uncovered.
Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes, checking after about 15 minutes to make sure rice is nearly done. You want it to be al dente at that point, not crunchy. If you feel you need a little moisture, you may add 1/4 cup of stock, but it's doubtful you will need to. After 20 minutes, remove from oven and let set on stove top loosely covered with foil for about 15 minutes.
Garnish the edges of the pan with the lemon wedges and a bit more parsley sprinkled over the top. This dish is well accompanied with a nice pitcher of chilled red Sangria. To prepare the Sangria, add 3 parts red wine, 1 part 7 UP, 1 part orange juice, 2 oranges cut in eighths, 2 lemons cut in eighths. Stir, refridgerate for about an hour. Finish dinner with some sliced pineapple and a shot of 43 served in a brandy snifter. Enjoy your fabulous dinner !!