We are big fans of this one dish peasant meal, but last weekend when we prepared this for our book club, we learned that you can simplify the dish significantly and still provide the favorite ingredients for your guests. While the dish is loaded with clams, mussels, shrimp, chicken, lobster, and sausage, I think most palates can be satisfied with a version of shrimp, chicken and sausage. It was interesting to see that everyone came back for seconds on the smoked sausage, which is the most simple of ingredients and the least costly ingredient. The next day for leftovers, we simply went to the store and purchased more sausage to add to the pot. It was a big hit on Day 2 as a result. Don’t skimp on any of the varieties of peppers, however, because the paella screams with flavor and spice from the multiple varieties of colorful peppers.
6 slices thick bacon, crumbled into ½” pieces
8 tablespoons Spanish olive oil, divided
2 large onions, chopped
1 Anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and very finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
8 garlic cloves, crushed
4 cups medium grain rice
3 teaspoons kosher salt
2 32-ounce boxes organic chicken broth
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 12-ounce bottle clam juice
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
3 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh thyme, chopped
½ cup red wine
24 large shrimp (U-12)
1 10-ounce package frozen peas
2 tablespoons Gary’s Rub*
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and dried
1 pound smoked sausage
½ cup Italian parsley, chopped
1 4-ounce jar pimientos, drained
2 lemons, quartered
*Recipe in Cook the Part book, or use your favorite dry rub.
Prepare paella on the stove top.
Sauté the bacon until brown in large paella pan.
Remove from pan, crumble and reserve. Add a few tablespoons of 0live oil to the pan. Add onions and sauté until sweated.Add all the chopped peppers and garlic. Sauté a few minutes more until soft.
Add a bit more olive oil and then add the rice and salt. Stir until rice is nicely coated with the oil.
Heat the broth in a saucepan and slowly add to coated rice.
Moisten the saffron threads in some of the broth in a small cup for a few minutes before adding all to the paella pan.
Add the clam juice. Cover and cook rice for 10 minutes.
Add the ground pepper, chopped tomatoes, thyme, ground black pepper and wine and allow to cook until the rice is al dente, about 25 minutes, simmering on low. Avoid over-browning the rice on the bottom of the pan. (You may have to loosen it once or twice during cooking. “Soccarat,”a crust, will form on the pan bottom. This is a normal, natural part of your paella.)
Add the shrimp, peas and crumbled bacon. Cover completely with aluminum foil. Continue cooking until shrimp are completely cooked.
Grill chicken and sausage for paella.
Heat grill to medium. Sprinkle the chicken with Gary’s Rub. Grill chicken and smoked sausage until done and nicely browned. Cut sausage and chicken into bite-sized pieces. Remove meat to a platter, tent with foil and put into a warming drawer or oven until ready to add to the paella.
Add chicken and sausage to paella pan. Cover and let stand 15 to 20 minutes. Top with the parsley and pimientos and garnish with the lemon wedges.