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Authentic Paella Guest Chef Colin Armstrong
Colorful, fresh and traditional, paella originated from Valencia, where peasant men and women working in the rice fields looked to the Mediterranean Sea and the fertile lands for other ingredients to mix with their rice. The paella was born. Cooked in a large shallow pan, the saffron soaked rice can be combined with ingredients to suit your tastes or the occasion. Plump white scallops or squid, succulent pink shrimp or try mussels and clams in their shells. A traditional favorite to the pan is spicy chorizo sausage or pork or ham or chicken along with a variety of Mediterranean vegetables, all infused with plentiful supplies of fresh garlic, local olive oil and lemon.
Ingredients (Serves 6-8) 6 cups of shrimp shell stock, fish broth or chicken broth 12 mussels, cleaned and debearded 12 oz cleaned squid, bodies and tentacles cut into 1 inch pieces 18 uncooked jumbo shrimp peeled and deveined, tail on 12 oz monkfish cut into chunks 6 oz chorizo sausage meat 24 oz roasted chicken breasts cut into chunks 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 small onions chopped 12 medium sized garlic cloves minced 1 small red pepper seeded and thinly sliced 1 small yellow pepper, seeded and thinly sliced 3-4 large ripe tomatoes, skinned seeded and chopped 3 cups of Spanish style rice, short grain rice 3 tablespoons butter 1 cup white wine 1 teaspoon paprika ½ teaspoon saffron, pulverized in a mortar ½ teaspoon dried rosemary ½ teaspoon dried thyme ¼ teaspoon ground cumin 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted 4 tablespoons capers, rinsed drained Lemon wedges to garnish
Chicken: Preheat oven to 300 F, brush 3 eight ounce chicken breasts with olive oil and season both sides with salt, pepper, paprika, rosemary, thyme and cumin. Place chicken on a roasting pan, into the heated oven. Roast for 40-45 minutes until cooked through. Set aside until cooled. Cut chicken into chunks and refrigerate until needed. Bring to room temperature before using.
Tomatoes: Core 3-4 large ripe tomatoes and cut an X in the middle of the skin on the underside of each. Place in a bowl and pour boiling water over it being sure to completely cover all the tomatoes. After about 1 minute the skin will begin to peel. Remove tomatoes from the water with a slotted spoon and when cooled, peel by hand and set aside.
Paella: Place stock (shrimp, fish or chicken stock) in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Keep at a simmer until ready to use.
In a large sauté or paella pan melt 1 tbsp butter in 3 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Season the monkfish lightly with salt and cook until barely seared about 1 minute. Set aside. Lightly season the squid with salt and cook until just seared, seta side as well.
Add 2 more table spoons of oil to the pan and add the onions and peppers. Cook until the onions are translucent and add half the garlic. Cook for another minute. Reduce the heat and add the tomatoes cooking for a further 5 minutes, stirring until the tomatoes are thickened and reduced. Stir in the paprika.
Add the monkfish, squid, chicken, capers and rice to the pan, Cook stirring frequently for about 5 minutes, coating the rice. Increase the heat to medium heat and add the wine cooking until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Reduce heat to medium and stir in the broth, saffron, mussels, salt and pepper. Continue to cook until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is al dente.
Remove the pan from the heat and discard any mussels that have not opened. Stir in the peas and tent with foil. While the rice is standing, heat the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet or wok. Stir fry the shrimp, a few at a time, adding some of the remaining garlic to each batch, until the shrimp are bright pink and just cooked through.
Arrange the lemon wedges around the edge of the paella and decorate the top with shrimp. Serve the paella straight from the pan.