Sunday, June 22, 2008

Paella with Peppered Chicken, Spicy Sausage and Scallops

My first attempt at paella about 4 or so years ago was an unmitigated disaster. This one turned out perfect. Perhaps because it remained on the stove top instead of going in the oven. But I was a novice cook and the failure put me off paella for years.

This is based off a recipe I found in my Wine Lover's Cookbook. That recipe called for escargot and mussels, but neither The Spouse nor I like them, so I substituted scallops instead. Suffice to say, I'm much more confident in my cooking skills to make ad hoc substitutions without fear. Not to mention feeling confident enough to make this, essentially, a 1-pot dish.

The only bummer was I got caught up in the steps and forgot about the pepper roasting in the oven. So we didn't have that. But everything else was fantastic. Things I found were that subbing turkey Italian sausage for chorizo wasn't bad in terms of taste - if anything, the dish wasn't nearly as oily as I expected. However, next time, regardless of the type of sausage I use, I am removing the casing before sauteeing. If you have enough oil, it should hold together fine.

Paella with Peppered Chicken, Spicy Sausage and Scallops

4 large chicken thighs, skin on (I used boneless/skinless)
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 lb sea scallops
2 spicy sausages (spicy Italian, andouille, or chorizo), cut in 1/2-inch slices
2 medium garlic cloves, chopped
2/3 cup chopped yellow onions
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1/2 tsp hot paprika
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/2 cup white wine
1 3/4 cups chicken stopck
1 large roasted pepper, diced
3 tbsp chopped italian parsley
3/4 cup fresh or defrosted frozen peas

Rince chicken thighs in cold water and pat dry. Rub thoroughly with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper and let rest for a few minutes before cooking.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2/3 tbsp olive oil. Add chicken and cook on both sides until browned. Remove from pan.

Deglace pan with water, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Discard. Add remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and heat. Add in scallops and cook in oil, 1 minute each side. Remove and place with chicken. Add sausages and saute 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and onions and continue sauteing for 3 minutes. Add rice, reamining 1/4 tsp salt, saffron, paprika, and tumeric and stir to coat thoroughly. Saute for 5 minutes.

Add wine and reduce until liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. add chicken stock, raise heat slightly, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and place reserved chicken and scallops evenly throughout the pot on top of the rice. Cover the pot and cook for 17 to 18 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is al dente. Sprinkle roasted peppers, parsley and peas evernly over the tip of the paella. Cover and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes just to warm through without allowing the peas to lose their bright green color. Season to taste.

Garnish with additional sprinkling of Italian parsley. Serve at table in paella pan or divide servings in kitchen with one thight per person plus evenly divided scallops.

Wine Pairing: The Spouse and I uncorked a fantastic bottle of 2004 Ridge Lytton Springs, which was a blend of 79% zinfandel, 18% petite sirah, 3% carignane. Fantastic wine for a fabulous meal.

1 comment:

Joelen said...

I love paella and I especially appreciate your suggested wine pairing! Thanks!