Monday, September 1, 2014

Skillet Paella

Easy Skillet Paella

Paella is one of those dishes that can start an argument real fast.  There are countless ways to make it and everyone is convinced that their way is the best.  I won’t argue about recipes.  

Mine is the best of course.   

I’m kidding.  Or am I?

What I will tell you is that you don’t necessarily need the classic paella pan to achieve that prized layer of toasted rice at the bottom called socarrat in Spain.   As long as you have a large wide skillet, this delicacy that separates good paellas from great ones, is easy enough to achieve.

I don’t think there is a more prized meal than this saffron infused medley of deliciousness.  

Skillet Paella
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 25- 30 min
Servings: 6-8

  • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into 2 inch pieces)
  • 5 tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 oz dried chorizo cut into half moons
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 jalapeno pepper diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb Arborio rice (    ? cups)
  • ?oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 lbs mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • lemon wedges
Video Tutorial

  1. Mix the chicken pieces with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper and set it aside
  2. Stir the shrimp together with 1 tsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of old bay.
  3. Preheat a very large nonstick skillet to a medium high heat, add the marinated chicken and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until the chicken is browned on all sides. 
  4. Push the chicken to one side and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, peppers, onion, garlic and chorizo then sauté for about 3 minutes or until everything begins to develop a little color.
  5. Add the rice with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and stir continuously for 2 minutes as the rice toasts and absorbs some of the flavors in the pan.
  6. Add the tomatoes, stock and saffron then bring the it up to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid or some foil and cook for 13-15 minutes or until the rice is almost done.
  7. Uncover the pan and arrange the mussels with the hinged sides embedded in the rice then add the shrimp, scatter over the peas, cover the pan and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes or until all the mussels have opened and the shrimp is pink.   
  8. Uncover and turn the heat to medium high and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes or until the rice starts to brown on the bottom.
  9. Scatter over the parsley, and lemon wedges then drizzle over an additional tablespoon of olive oil and serve once the paella has rested for 5 minutes.  

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