How to make an Easy and Authentic Paella

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Paella is a traditional rice dish from Spain. There are many varieties of paella. Paella’s main ingredient is saffron, which gives the rice the nice golden hue. I have tried many paella recipes. Those recipes that claim to be authentic are very long and complicated and the ingredients are difficult to find. Those recipes that claim to be easy are often not authentic tasting at all. This paella recipe is a balance of easy and authentic flavors. I hope you enjoy making and eating this paella.

Ingredients:

6 slices of bacon

1 whole cut up chicken (cut into 8 pieces)

1/2 pound of Spanish chorizo, sliced about ¼ inch thick

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 large green pepper, seeded and chopped into ¼ inch dice

1 large ripe tomato, diced

1 small jar of green olives (drained and rinsed)

3 cups chopped Spanish onion or sweet onions (about 2 large onions)

1 12-ounce jar of roasted pimentos with juice

2 8-ounce jars of clam juice

1.5 cups of chicken stock

2 cups parboiled rice

1 teaspoon of crushed saffron threads

2 teaspoons paprika

Salt & freshly ground Pepper to taste

1 pound large uncooked shrimp, deveined but not peeled

1 pound of monkfish or other firm white fish, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 dozen clams, scrubbed

1 dozen mussels, scrubbed, debearded

1 cup green peas

lemon wedges for garnish

Note: Make sure to use Spanish chorizo, not Mexican or Salvadoran chorizo. Spanish chorizo is smoked and cured.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Find the largest pot you own.

2. Cook bacon until crispy. Remove bacon from pan, leaving the rendered fat in pot. Chop bacon into small pieces and set aside.

3. Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pot with the rendered bacon fat and cook on medium heat until brown on all sides. Remove chicken from pot.

4. Add sliced chorizo to pot. Fry each side for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Drain and remove from pot.

5. Using the same pot and rendered bacon fat, add chopped green peppers and let cook for approximately 5 minutes. Add onions, tomato and garlic. Sauté until just beginning to get brown. Stir in the pimentos with the juices and the drained olives, rice, chopped bacon, peas, paprika, chicken stock and clam juice. Bring to a simmer and remove from the stove.

6. Pour all contents from pot into a large baking dish (approximately 15x10x2 or larger). Arrange the shrimp, fish, clams, and muscles in the baking pan and cover with aluminum foil. Bake until all clams/muscles open and rice is tender (about 45-55 minutes). Make certain to remove and toss in trash any unopened shells from the paella before serving. Remove foil and let stand for about 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a nice crusty bread and freshly tossed salad.

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