Foods | Cooking
Hints & Tips
This delicious Mixed Paella Valenciana recipe and photo
were shared with me by Leo Cotnoir of Binghamton, NY, and his cooking blog,
Dinner at Leo's.
Leo says, "Paella is built up
from four basic elements: seafood and meat, sofrito, rice, and broth. The
proteins can by any combination of shellfish, meats, and sausage. I used a
chicken breast, shrimp, and Portuguese chourico (chorizo). The sofrito
consists of sautéed onions, garlic, and tomatoes (sometimes with the
addition of pepper). For variety and because I needed to use it up, I used a
leek along with the garlic and tomatoes. The rice is always short or medium
grain with the Spanish Bomba rice considered the most authentic. I used
medium grain rice from the Hispanic foods section of my local supermarket.
The broth is commonly shellfish stock or chicken stork, but I used a
vegetable stock I made from the green parts of the leeks."
Check out my
Shrimp Recipes for more great cooking ideas. Also check out
Purchasing, Deveining, Cooking, Brining, and Etiquette of Shrimp.
Mixed Paella Valenciana Recipe
Yields: serves many
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min
2 tablespoons hot water
4 1/2 cups seafood or vegetable stock
1/2 pound chourico (chorizo) sausages, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1/2 pound boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
6 ounces raw large
shrimp, peeled and deveined (leaving tails on)
1 leek or
onion, halve lengthwise and thinkly slice
2 or 3
garlic cloves, crushed
tomatoes (canned tomatoes are ok), chopped
1/2 teaspoon pimento or paprika
1 1/2 cup medium-grain white rice
1/2 cup frozen green peas
HINT: Have all ingredients chopped and measured before beginning the final
cooking of the paella. It is a quick cooking dish that must have all ingredients ready to go.
In a small bowl, crumble the saffron threads in the hot water; set aside.
In a large pan over medium-heat heat, heat the seafood or vegetable stock; reduce heat to low and keep broth hot (not boiling).
Seafood and Meat:
You will need a somewhat deep cooking dish, large
cast-iron skillet, or the traditional
Paella Pan (paellera), a round flat pan with two handles. The size of the dish or pan depends on the number of portions you wish
to make. The amounts of the ingredients are relative and it does not matter if you use more of one and less of another or chose not to use
some at all. The vital thing is the preparation of the rice so that it comes out loose.
In a large Paella Pan or heavy
cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add the
sausage rounds, moving and turning to get them evenly browned; remove from pan and set aside.
If needed add a bit more olive oil to the pan. Add the chicken cubes and stir-fry until done; remove from pan and set aside.
Add the prepared shrimp and sauté until just done, approximately 2
minutes per side; remove from pan and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium. To the same pan, add the onion or leek and garlic; sauté
approximately 5 minutes or until the onion softens. Add the tomato and pimenton
or paprika. Cook, stirring often, approximately 15 to 20 minutes
or until the mixture has darkened and thickened.
NOTE: If the mixture start to stick to the bottom of the pan and burn,
add some additional water.
Add the rice to the prepared Sofrito, stirring until well coated. Cook,
stirring constantly for approximately 2 minutes. Pour 4 cups hot
stock into the rice mixture. Add the saffron with its soaking water to
the mixture. Use the remaining 1/2 cup of the hot stock to rinse out the saffron
bowl and then add to the the rice mixture. Stir in the peas.
NOTE: From this point on, do not stir the rice.
Simmer vigorously, moving the pan over 1 or 2 burners to distribute the
heat and cook the rice as evenly as possible. After about 10 minutes,
when the rice is at the same level as the liquid, reduce the heat to
medium low. Arrange the meat and shrimp, pizza-style, over the top of the rice.
Continue to simmer gently approximately 10 minutes, rotating the pan as
necessary, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Taste a grain of rice
that is just below the top layer of rice. It should be al dente with a
tiny white dot in the center. If the rice is not done, but all the
liquid has been absorbed, add a little additional broth or water and cook a few minutes more.
To create the socarrat, turn the heat up to medium-high. Rotating the
pan, cook for approximately 2 minutes or until the bottom layer of rice
just starts to caramelize. NOTE: The rice will
crackle, but if it start to smell burned, remove the pan from the heat
Finishing the Paella:
Remove the pan from the heat and cover loosely with a clean kitchen
towel. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. NOTE: Paella must rest after being removed from the
oven, during which time the final cooking takes place.
To serve traditionally, set the paella in the middle of a round or
square table so that everyone can eat it directly from the pan.