Spanish Paella- By Guest Blogger Dr. J

Dr. J and I went to Spain last year- the architecture, art and food were the biggest highlights for me.  I simply love Spanish cooking and especially learning about the different types of food made in the different regions. 
We ate paella several times and this photo below is from our last night in Barcelona where we found a cute little pub-style restaurant in the Gothic area close to our hotel.

We had our friends N and E over for dinner and Dr. J made an amazing seafood and chicken paella.  He also offered to write a blog post about it!
So please help me welcome my guest blogger Dr. J!
The ingredients:
• 1 can diced tomatoes
• about 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
• 3 cups short or medium-grain rice
• 20 threads saffron
• 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped from sprigs
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
• 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
• 1 teaspoon hot paprika
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on, chicken thighs and legs
• 1 yellow onion chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• Bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, reserve some for garnish
• Fresh Thyme and Oregano (optional)
• 12 oz of baby clams
• 12 oz scallops

Mix the rice with the 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of smoked paprika, and the chopped rosemary (stems removed). Set aside.
The rice I used was Calrose. It is a medium grain rice that was developed in the 1970’s using “irradiation”.
I was unaware of this until I did a little research but apparently they blast a number of popular crop seeds with radiation in order to incite mutations that will hopefully provide more desirable features. From what I’ve read you can use any short or medium grain rice. Traditionally, calaspara or bomba rice is used and I have come across several recipes that call for Spanish Paella rice, but have yet to encounter it in the store.

Cut and wash chicken into pieces (I used thighs that were already cut into pieces).
Wash and then generously season with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in your pan. I used a pan that we bought for this meal, but traditionally a paellera is used. Paella is the Catalan word for pan and all pans are referred to as such in Valencia, where this dish originated, but I digress.
Fry the chicken pieces in the oil starting skin side down. Fry until they are golden brown about 4 min on each side.

Set aside the chicken pieces and retain enough grease to make the sofrito.
Making the sofrito:
Fry the chopped onions under medium heat until they are translucent then add the garlic
Cook for another minute and add tomatoes and the fresh parsley. I blended a can of diced tomatoes but you could use a can of tomato puree or ideally you would to blend a couple of fresh tomatoes. I added fresh oregano and thyme, you can throw in whatever fresh herbs you have on hand.

Cook this down and get almost all of the liquid to evaporate and it becomes caramelized.. This paste is what is called sofrito.

Add the dry rice mixture and fold it in until the rice is coated in the sofrito.

Cook for about a minute then add chicken broth until the all the rice is submerged.
Bring to a simmer then turn the heat down enough to just keep it simmering.
Keep covered until all the liquid is absorbed, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the chicken back in by settling it down into the rice. It is important not to disturb the rice anymore until the dish is served.

Add another 1-2 cups of broth. You know it is time to add the shellfish when the rice is almost ready. Again settle them gently in the rice. It took the scallops about 4 minutes to steam, you can use any seafood in this dish and most take very little time to cook. The frozen clams I had were already cooked so to avoid them getting very rubbery I added them very close to the end.

Taste the rice to see if it is ready. In the middle of the pan it should be soft and it should be crispy around the edges. If the rice is still al dente, add more broth to get it to soften. To make the bottom especially crispy crank the heat up to high for a couple of minutes. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes, then spray with lemon juice and garnish with fresh parsley and lemon slices. There are endless possibilities as to the variety of vegetable and meats that you can use in paella.

N. who just returned from spending the summer in Tokyo, hand made some Japanese dumplings which we ate as an appetizer.


Everton Terrace said...

Welcome Dr. J!

I've not been to Spain but my daughter has and she loved it - wants to take us. I don't like seafood and am a vegetarian so I think I would have a hard time eating there (from what I understand). I hear they have wonderful drinking chocolate - how long could I live off that?

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

Everton- we had chocolate for ten days in a row and could have kept going!

Krystal said...

my mouth is watering and i just ate dinner. this looks complicated, is it complicated? i need to try it.

sherri said...

Nice post, Dr. J! That looks ahhhhmazing. Yum. I'll have to get Dr. B to give it a try.

Pat Tillett said...

Yum! That sounds so good! I think I'd like some right now...

On the eerie side of things. One of our daughters also hand made "Gyoza" last night. She is going to be the one in the family who keeps that tradition alive. Even her GM now buys them from the Japanese market. They are a lot of work, but so tasty!

Lydia Kang said...

Thank you for making my stomach growl.
Man, I'm so hungry now!

Getrealmommy said...

Hmmmm. Maybe you will have me do a guest blog on my famous cream of mushroom-chicken-brocolli casserole. It's what my kids will eat. And it doesn't take any talent. Never mind what it tastes like. :)

I have a feeling you guys are eatin better over at your house!

Tayebug said...

It looks wonderful and difficult!

and flowers pick themselves said...

awesome guest post! looks delicious.

xo Alison

this free bird said...

I've got to try this tout de suite!! What a guest post!!!


MarchMusings said...

The dish looks yummy but I might try a shorter version as I love simple recipes. Short attention span!

tulpen said...

You had me until clams and scallops... can I skip those? 'Cause otherwise it sounds awesome.

Lady Grey said...

Yumm!!! I've always wanted to try making this.
Looks delish!

its simple love said...

MMMMmmmm that seafood and chicken paella looks unbelievable. I must try it!


jacqueline said...

Spain is such a beautiful country! This looks really good and sooo yummie!! Must give it a try! Thanks soo much for sharing! Have a lovely merry happy week and love to yoU!

jane said...

wow! this looks really good. seriously! (even better than my husbands... and he´s spanish.... don´t tell ;)) besos!

My Little Space said...

Oh Ren, this guest post recipe sounds great. I'm going to make it this weekend. Thanks so much for sharing. Hope you're enjoying your day.
Cheers, Kristy

The Zhush said...

WOW...this all looks so good! And, now I am starving! :)

Food Sage said...

Your paella recipe sounds great and the pictures are a really nice way to show folks the steps.

For folks who might be afraid of all that chopping and sauteing and want an “easy to prepare but still homemade” version, try using this really authentic tasting sofrito (sauteed seasoning) we found on the web from http://www.OldHavanaFoods.com. It works really well in Arroz con Pollo (chicken and rice), Picadillo (Cuban sloppy joe’s), chili, beef short ribs braised with wine and many other dishes. Enjoy!

drollgirl said...

oh how i would love to go to spain! if only i could be magically transported there! the sights, the sounds, THE FOOD! i wish i could see it all!

and this paella looks DEEEEEELICIOUS!

3 hungry tummies said...

Oh that looks good! I love Spanish food and the Spanish Street is just a block from our place :)

Mary said...

I'd keep him! His paella is delightful to look at and I'm sure it tastes everybit as good as it looks. Did you know that Anthony Bourdaine thinks Spain has the best food in the world? I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

Le blÖg d'Ötli said...

Thanks for the recipe ! I'm hungry now !!!

Karena said...

Mmmmmm Ren I love paella, how yummy this looks!

Art by Karena

dotblogg said...

what a great food! I love paella and dumplings! what are they with?spinach?:)
take care

Melissa said...

Oh, fun! My extended family does a big paella cookout every 4th of July!

Jude said...

My FAVORITE thing I ate in Spain (besides the numerous tapas and fino) - YUM! Thanks so much for this link and D-lish recipe, Ren! (and Dr. J!)

Maybe You'll Enjoy These Too...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...