Paella

Perfect for beach dinner parties, paella is terrific because it feeds a crowd, is fun to cook and is easy to serve straight from the pan. I love paella served with a chilled dry rosé from Navarra or Rioja. I wait until the fire has a slow glow with a light flame. I add small pieces of wood to keep it going throughout the process. The paella takes one hour. I prep all the ingredients and put them in zip lock bags ready to go into the pan. You can prepare this dish on your stove top, but it will not have a smoky flavor.

Serves 10

  • 1 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 whole pastured chicken cut into 10 pieces (cut the breast into 4 pieces), seasoned with
  • salt, pepper, and paprika
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, medium diced
  • 2 leeks, diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, medium diced
  • ½ cup triple sec plus ½ cup white wine
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 1/2 cups bomba rice (short-grain arborio rice can be substituted)
  • 4-6 cups warm paella stock, in 2 parts »»recipe
  • 3 roasted garlic bulbs with skins left on (rub bulbs with oil and roast for 35 minutes)
  • 24 clams
  • 1 lb. fish
  • 24 mussels
  • 24 shrimp, size 16/20 (You cannot always get sustainable shrimp, but baby Maine shrimp can be sprinkled on just before serving.)
  • 1/4 cup chopped herbs (parsley and chives)
  • 2 lemons

1. Heat 1 cup olive oil in the paella pan. Sear and cook the chicken skin side down for about 15 minutes; then remove and set aside.

2. The sofrito provides the flavor base for the paella and is a combination of aromatic ingredients that have been cut into small pieces, then slowly sautéed:
• Add 1/2 cup olive oil to the pan by pouring it in a circular motion around the pan until it pools nicely in the center.
• Add garlic, onion, leek, fennel, and red pepper, and cook for about 10 minutes.
• Add tomatoes, and sauté sofrito ingredients until cooked through and beginning to Caramelize.
• Add ½ c triple sec And 1 cup of white wine and cook for  10 minutes..

3. Add the rice and cook, stirring until the rice begins to show transparency around the edges, about 5 minutes (add more olive oil if the rice is dry). Spread the rice evenly around the pan and pour half the warm stock over the rice. Add whole garlic. Add chicken, and cook 15 minutes, adding liquid as needed as the rice soaks up the stock. Add clams (hinge side down) and fish and cook 20 minutes. Add mussels (hinge side down), shrimp and vegetables. Add more stock as needed. Simmer until rice is cooked, tending fire and rotating pan as needed. There’s no need to stir.

4. As soon as the stock is absorbed, check to make sure all foods are cooked through and/or shells are open. If not, add a bit more stock. Then cover with foil with a towel on top of the foil. This is the tricky part because it’s important to get the rice to toast on the bottom of the pan (socarrat) so it is key not to add too much stock. You should smell the toasting rice when it’s done.

5. Unveil the paella, sprinkle with fresh herbs and squeeze lemon juice on top. Serve immediately, or cover with foil and a towel and let rest up to 1 hour. We serve it with a nice chopped salad and baguettes.

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