I have had paella cooked with a variety of ingredients and of methods...oven, over an outdoor fire, and on a stove burner. I love the scope of ingredients that can go into the dish, but frankly, I have never been a fan of surf and surf types of recipes. I don't like to mix meat and seafood (exception is to sneak an anchovy or two into recipes). So I designed a grounded recipe of field animal and earthy mushrooms, bound by a walnut, saffron, anchovy, parsley pesto. The final addition of green olive adds a bright flash of color and flavor. —dymnyno
2 1/2 pound rabbit, cut into small (3-4 inch) pieces
1 1/2 cups rice (paella rice such as bomba)
8 ounces pork chorizo, casing removed
3 cups wild mushrooms, 1 c ea baby shitake, oyster and hen of the woods (or your favorites)
Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in a paella pan and the rabbit pieces and brown well on all sides. Put a few turns of black pepper on the rabbit as it cooks. Remove and set aside.
Add the onions to the pan.
Remove the casings from the pork chorizo, discard the casings and roll the pork into small meatballs about one inch in diameter and add to the onions in the pan. Roll the balls around the pan to release more fat and brown them.
After a few minutes add the mushrooms.
While the onions , mushrooms and the balls are cooking, make a pesto with 1/2 the toasted walnuts, chopped parsley, saffron and anchovies using a mortar and pestle. Add a little broth to get a proper consistency.
Deglaze the pan with the wine...a couple of minutes.
Add the pesto and the rest of the walnuts to the pan and spread all the ingredients evenly around the pan.
Add the rice and the broth to the pan. After you spread the rice evenly around the pan and add the broth, do not stir.
Add the browned rabbit back to the pan. Add the duck confit if you have it already made or if you find it at your grocery deli.
Put the paella in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Do not open and stir the rice.
Remove from the oven and leave on the counter for 10 minutes. (it will continue to cook during this time) DO NOT cover the pan with a lid...it will steam the rice and it will not be crispy!
Add the olives.
***to make the recipe quick and easy, read the recipe first and then make the pork chorizo meatballs and the pesto ahead of time and have all other ingredients ready to go!
OPTIONAL: For a dinner party, I added 4 duck confit legs. I really like the extra flavor and often keep a crock of duck confit in my cooler.