Paella with Chicken, Shrimp, and Clams
This was one of the best and most flavorful Paellas I have ever made, and dare I say - eaten! Instead of just throwing it all in, I followed a lead from two of my favorite guys in the cooking realm - Gordon Ramsey and Tyler Florence. I know, I know - how could two total opposites have a common thread that I could find attractive in both, and then mold and manipulate into the perfect man...I mean Paella. I took Gordon's robust flavors, teamed it with Tyler's ease and confidence-wielding style in the kitchen and voila! That pretty much made a perfect man...I mean Paella. Please look at the notes below, this is not hard by any means, but depending on your tastes and pan size this can be a little on the fiddly side...like most men.
8 boneless chicken thighs, seasoned with dry rub below
º cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Spanish chorizo sausages, thickly sliced
on the diagonal (about 8oz each)
1 Spanish onion, medium chop
8 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed and minced
Ω bunch of flat-leaf parsley leaves
(or a good handful) chopped
Ω bunch of cilantro (or a good handful) chopped
A good splash of sherry or dry white wine,
about º cup (not really optional)
1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, crushed & smashed
1 Ω cups Arborio rice
4 cups chicken stock plus a little more if needed
Saffron threads, a large-sized pinch dissolved in
a little chicken stock
1 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and
deveined - tails left on
Ω cup frozen petite peas, thawed
Lemon wedges, for serving
Dry rub for chicken: Oregano, paprika
& garlic powder
Sprinkle oregano, paprika and garlic powder generously over chicken, coating both sides and rubbing into skin and meat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Heat oil in a paella pan over medium heat. SautÈ the chorizo until browned, remove and set aside. Add chicken pieces and brown until golden on both sides and almost cooked through, remove, and set aside with chorizo.
Add onions, garlic, parsley, and cilantro to pan, cook for 2 or 3 minutes over medium heat. Then, add rice and splash of sherry. Stir to coat the rice and cook until it begins to crackle. Add tomatoes and stir to combine all the ingredients, cook for a few minutes more until the liquid thickens slightly. Pour in stock; stir so the rice absorbs the liquid evenly. Add saffron and stir to break up threads. Add chicken and chorizo, along with all accumulated juices back to the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Add the clams tucking them into the rice and more stock if necessary. At this point, you may have to remove the chicken pieces, cover, and keep warm depending on the size of your pan. When the clams begin to open, add the shrimp. Continue to simmer, adding more stock if needed. The shrimp should take about 8 minutes to cook. Carefully stir Paella to distribute liquid. When the shrimp are pink and cooked and the clams opened, remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with peas and lemon wedges.
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A few suggestions - a 15" Paella pan was not large enough for all this - men and their measurements! So, I removed the chicken thighs and kept them warm while the shellfish were cooking. I added ever so little additions of stock to keep the Paella nice and moist. I also used a mixture of hot and mild chorizo sausage, cutting them in two different ways, so those who like their chorizo hot, knew exactly which sausage would suit their tastes. Obviously, there's nothing saying that you couldn't make two different Paellas - one all seafood, the other all meat - after all, it's nice to have choices in and out of the kitchen!