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Paella for a Summer Evening

Monday, 01 June 2020 14:17

By Dan Clarke

At Taste Publications we’re big fans of paella.

It’s as traditionally Spanish as pizza is Italian, but you can find pretty good examples of both these foods beyond Naples and outside Iberia. We’ve enjoyed paella in Spain and in the south of France and have faithfully followed the recipe of an American winery owner whose roots are in Catalonia.

While there may be some who insist that theirs is the  only traditional and “correct” recipe for this dish, we’ve found that the formula varies depending on availability of ingredients and preferences of the cook (when a winery owner in Spain’s Priorat region told me of the way he prepared his version of paella, I asked about the omission of any seafood or shellfish, he looked at me and said, “look where we are—a long way from the sea. Sure, if we were in Barcelona, I’d do that, but this is still paella”).

We obtained the following recipe from Foster Farms. We’ve cooked plenty of their chicken over the years and have found that theirs is a well-priced and reliable product. We haven’t yet tested this recipe, but it seems to us to be a simple preparation that honors the paella tradition. Oh, and that Catalonian winery owner puts bottles of both red and white wine on the table when she serves her paella.

 

Chicken Paella with Chorizo and Summer Veggies

 

Ingredients

• 1.5 lbs Foster Farms Free Range Bone-In Chicken Thighs (4 thighs)

• 3 tablespoons olive oil, split

• 4 oz Chorizo, sliced into ¼” pieces

• 1 cup white onion, medium dice

• 2 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 cup Arborio or Spanish Paella Rice

• Large pinch of Saffron

• ½ tsp smoked paprika

• 1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

• 1 cup tomato sauce

• 3 cups chicken stock

• ⅓ pound fresh asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces

• ½ cup summer squash, thinly sliced

• 1 cup snap peas, with strings removed

• ¼ cup fava beans, shelled

• ¼ cup radishes, thinly sliced

• 1 cup pea tendrils

• ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

• Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

1. In a 12-inch Paella pan or skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Season the chicken thighs thoroughly with salt and pepper and place skin-side-down into the hot pan.

2. Sear the chicken thighs for 7 minutes, then flip and sear for an additional 3 minutes on the non-skin side. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the chorizo, onion, garlic, rice, Aleppo pepper, saffron and crushed red pepper flakes to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes, so the flavors combine and then add the tomato sauce. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Gently stir in the chicken stock, then nestle the chicken thighs down into the rice. Bring the paella up to a simmer and cover with a lid placed slightly askew to allow some steam to escape.

5. Continue to simmer for 16 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the cover and tuck the asparagus, summer squash, snap peas and fava beans down into the paella rice. Cook for 2 more minutes, until the chicken fully cooked and a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of meat reaches an internal temperature of 180o F in the deepest part of the thigh, not touching the bone, and a nice crispy crust develops on the bottom of the paella pan - this is called the socarrat and it’s delicious!

6. While the paella finishes cooking, toss the radishes and pea tendrils together in a bowl with half of the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt & pepper.

Remove the paella from the heat and drizzle with the remaining olive oil and lemon juice. Top with the pea tendrils and radishes and enjoy!

Last modified on Monday, 01 June 2020 14:30

 

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