If you are still here, hi there! You're my favorite, did you know that? And it might interest you to know that I adapted this particular recipe from this one over here, and after several tweaks and twanks (I don't know) I think my version is ready for prime time. I have a big ol' 13-inch Lodge cast iron pan that works perfectly for this, and even gets the bottom all crusty and delicious, but if you don't have a big ol' 13-inch Lodge cast iron pan then maybe that 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish thing will work? I don't know. Try it and report back.
Here's the shopping list for a family of four, or two with plenty of leftovers (and I mean PLENTY; you should see my fridge right now), or a double date perhaps:
- 2 links of chorizo, casings removed
- 2 chicken thighs, cut in half to make 4 pieces
- Salt, pepper, and paprika
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced (or pressed through that garlic press I keep telling you to buy)
- 1 cup of arborio rice (I know, I know, but it's what I have, and it works gosh darn it)
- 1 jar roasted pimientos, diced, with the juice (pimientos are the same as red peppers, so if you can't find the one the other is fine)
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed saffron threads
- 1 cup bottled clam juice
- 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- Assorted seafood
But you could also throw in some clams or mussels or lobster or whatever looks good to you.
How much seafood do you need? I don't know that either. Just think about your four big portions of paella and how many of each seafoods you want in each portion. So like, if you want two scallops then you need 2 x 4 = 8 scallops. And you thought you'd never need math.
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
- Lots of chopped parsley
- Lemon wedges
Generously season all sides of your chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and paprika, and let that sit while you cook up the chorizo. And sing along to Dr. Horrible.
And how do you cook up the chorizo? Well, you heat up your pan over medium-high heat, and then you throw the chorizo in the heated pan. (How do you sing along to Dr. Horrible? Loudly, and with feeling.) As the chorizo cooks, make sure you use a wooden spoon to break it up into little pebble-sized pieces. When it looks browned, push the meat pebbles all around the edge of the pan to make some room in the middle, and add your chicken thighs skin-side down.
Brown the chicken on all sides, which should take about 5-6 minutes per side. Then remove your meat-stuff to a plate.
Throw your onion into the pan and saute those until they're beginning to brown and turn translucent. Then add your minced garlic and cook that down a minute more, until the whole mess looks like this:
If you happen to have a bottle of sherry handy (which of course I do) add a glug or two and scrape up and brown bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. If you don't, then no big whoop, it's not like I told you you'd need it or anything and it's not important enough for me to make you go out and buy an entire bottle of sherry for just a glug or two.
Now stir in your rice, roasted pimientos with juice, and the saffron.
Add the clam juice, chicken stock, and chorizo, give everything another stir, and bring that to a simmer. Then turn off the heat and arrange your chicken pieces in the pan so that they're all nestled in amongst (heh) the rice and veggies and whatnot.
Cover your pan with foil and stick it in the oven. After about 10 minutes, pull out the pan, remove the foil, take a nice handful of your chopped parsley (making sure you save some for later) and throw it in. Give everything another stir (you'll notice that the rice is still quite moist) and rearrange your chicken, please.
Re-cover the pan with foil and put it back into the oven for another 20 minutes. Then, pull it out AGAIN, and remove the foil AGAIN, but don't give anything another stir! Instead, nestle all of your seafood pieces into the rice, and sprinkle your peas all about the pan. Be as artistic as you feel necessary.
Re-re-cover the pan with foil and re-put it back into the oven for another 15 minutes, or until the seafood is just cooked through.
Pull out the pan, for good this time, and remove the foil. Let it sit for 10 more minutes to let it finish doing its thang, sprinkle the top with your remaining parsley, and serve with your lemon wedges.
And think fondly of fake Spain.