Thursday, October 23, 2014

#TBT - Hola! It's an Easy Paella

As promised - such a good dish for a casual dinner for friends. 

You will need a rectangular electric frying pan with a domed cover.  So by now you may have guessed that in addition to being the Aluminum Tin Queen, I am also Queen of the Electric Appliances.

Spices, Condiments, Oils:
kosher salt
black pepper
granulated garlic
Hungarian sweet pepper
1/4 teaspoon saffron
2 Knorr chicken bouillon cubes
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco, Texas Pete, Crystal)

Vegetables, Produce:
1 large or 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 medium or 2 small green peppers, chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped

Off the Shelf:

7 oz. chorizo (Goya or Tropical Brand), halved, casing removed, sliced into 1/4 inch half moons
1 1/2 cups uncooked converted rice (Uncle Ben's)
1-12 oz. bottle beer, poured into a 4-cup glass measuring cup
1-15 oz. can green peas (trust me), liquid drained into the beer
1-14 oz. can quartered artichoke hearts, liquid drained into the beer
1-6 1/2 oz. jar Fancy Pimientos, drained, patted dry, cut into pieces
15 or more small manzanilla olives (these are little green olives stuffed with pimiento)

Out of the Refrigerator:
6 chicken drumsticks
1 dozen littleneck clams
1/2 pound mussels
1/2 pound peeled rock shrimp (if these are unavailable, use more peeled white shrimp)
1/2 pound peeled white shrimp (medium or large, whatever is on sale)

Sprinkle chicken with some salt, black pepper, paprika and garlic.  Heat olive oil in frying pan at 325 degrees, and brown chicken on all sides.  Remove to a dish and hold. (This is where I use one of those aluminum trays, about 9x13.)  Next cook the chorizo for just a minute, and with a slotted spoon, remove it to the dish with the chicken.  Next cook both shrimp just until barely pink, remove them and hold in a separate bowl.  Do not overcook the shrimp.  Seriously.

Add the onions, green peppers, and chopped garlic to the pan; season with salt, pepper, paprika and granulated garlic.  I also like to sprinkle a very small amount of regular sugar over the onions for flavor and caramelization. Cook until onion is tender, not brown.  Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil in the pan.  Add enough water to the beer to make 3 1/2 cups liquid.  Add the hot pepper sauce to the liquid, then pour it all into the pan, stirring up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Add the bouillon cubes and the saffron and stir.  Stir the cooked chorizo into the rice, and then place the chicken on top.  Cover the pan with the domed lid, making sure the little steam outlet is closed.  Lower the heat to simmer, and cook 25 - 30 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is done.  You will want to check on the rice and stir it about halfway through the cooking to make sure it is not sticking.

Uncover, remove the chicken, and stir the rice.  Add the green peas, the artichoke heart quarters, pimiento pieces, olives, and cooked shrimp and stir gently. Arrange the mussels, clams, and chicken on top of the rice.  Cover and cook another 10 minutes or until the clams and mussels are open.  Discard any that don't open.  Serve everyone a little bit of each type of protein, and pile that awesome rice high on each plate.  Eat with gusto, or at least with garlic bread.

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