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Recipe for Summertime Paella

1 (3-pound) frying chicken, cut into 10 pieces

Salt and black pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 Spanish chorizo sausages, thickly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, reserve some for garnish

1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed

4 cups short grain Spanish rice

6 cups water, warm

Generous pinch saffron threads

1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined

1/2 cup sweet peas 

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator. Heat oil in a paella pan over medium-high heat. Saute the chorizo until browned, remove and reserve. Add chicken skin-side down and brown on all sides, turning with tongs. Add salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove from pan. In the same pan, saute the onions, peppers, garlic, and parsley. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes over medium heat. Then add tomatoes and cook until the mixture caramelizes a bit and the flavors meld. 

Fold in the rice and stir-fry to coat the grains. Pour in water and simmer for 10 minutes, gently moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid. Add chicken, chorizo, and saffron. Add the shrimp, tucking them into the rice. The shrimp will take about 8 minutes to cook. Give the paella a good shake and let it simmer, without stirring, until the rice is al dente, for about 15 minutes. When the paella is cooked and the rice looks fluffy and moist, turn the heat up for 40 seconds until you can smell the rice toast at the bottom, then it’s perfect. (The ideal paella has a toasted rice bottom called socarrat.) Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with peas, parsley and lemon wedges. Serves 8-10.


About John DeMers

I've been a journalist and author forever. My favorite single word in the English language is "foodandwine." This spirit drives my 45 published books and my weekly radio show heard in Houston, Dallas and Austin.

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