When it takes three hours to prepare, it’s not really a holiday. But your family and friends will be glad you went to all that effort.
Paella originated in Valencia, on Spain’s Mediterranean coast. If the Wikipedia entry is to be believed, there are three main types of paella. I’m not sure that Spaniards would consider this recipe authentic, but it turned out really nicely. It’s adapted from Bon Apetit. The main difference between their recipe, which was for 10 people, and what is presented here is the quantities: I reduced the meat quantities significantly and increased the vegetables. There’s still enough to serve six people here.
Budget approx. 3 hours for prep and cooking time. This should go well with both red and white wine. My go-to wines would be Rioja, something from Languedoc, or Côtes du Rhone.
- 3 TB olive oil or more, divided
- 1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage, cut up
- 1.25 lb boneless chicken breast
- 2 [VERY] large onions
- 6 garlic cloves
- ¾ lb tomatoes, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise and then crosswise into quarters
- 2 large red bell peppers
- 1 lb uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined
- 1 clove garlic
- “generous pinch” + ¼ tsp saffron threads
- 1 ¼ cups Arborio rice
- ¾ tsp salt
- 2 ½ cups low-salt chicken broth
- 1 tsp paprika: Pimenton de la Vera
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
Heat 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy skillet. Add sausages and sauté until cooked through. Transfer sausage to a bowl and set aside.
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and cook in batches. Cook approximately 6 minutes. Turn over, cook another 6-8 minutes. Cut up chicken into smaller pieces and place in bowl with sausage.
Toss shrimp with 1 clove of minced garlic and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a pinch of saffron. Set aside.
Add onions and 5 cloves minced garlic to pot, adding more olive oil if necessary. Sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and bay leaf. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add zucchini and bell peppers. Stir; cook for two minutes; turn off heat.
Heat oven to 375 F. Brush a 18x12x2 ½ in roasting pan with olive oil. Add rice and ¾ teaspoon salt to vegetable mixture. Spread rice mixture into baking dish. Add chicken and sausage.
Place broth, paprika and remaining saffron into the same pot that you used to cook the meat and vegetables. Bring to a boil, add to baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, place shrimp on top of the rice mixture. Cover again with foil and bake another 20 minutes or until shrimp is just done. Garnish with parsley and serve.