The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Not-So-Purist Paella

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

My mother lived in Spain briefly, where she first encountered paella. Over the years her recipe has evolved so much that I’m sure a purist would dismiss it as something else altogether. I can’t speak to that, but I can tell you that I’ve been eating versions of this my entire life and, regardless of whether or not it is traditional, it is delicious.

You may use any mixture of shellfish that you like — mussels, clams, etc.

Ingredients

  • 2 whole Bell Peppers (red, Orange Or Yellow)
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 whole Onion, Chopped
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1-½ pound Chicken Breast, Julienned
  • 1-½ cup Long Grain Rice
  • ½ teaspoons Saffron Threads (generous)
  • 8 ounces, weight Canned Whole Tomatoes, Roughly Chopped And Juice Reserved
  • ½ sticks Pepperoni
  • ½ pounds Cooked Shrimp
  • ½ pounds Cooked Crab Legs
  • ½ pounds Cooked Squid (calamari)
  • ½ pounds Cooked Scallops
  • 5 ounces, weight Sweet Green Peas, Frozen Or Fresh
  • Salt And Pepper

Preparation

1. Roast peppers. If using a gas stove, turn flame to high and place peppers directly over fire, otherwise use oven’s broiler. Using tongs, rotating the peppers occasionally, until peppers blister and blacken all over.

Transfer roasted peppers to a paper bag; seal and allow to steam inside the bag.

2. While peppers cool, sauté onions and garlic in oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot until translucent, stirring frequently.

Remove and set aside; add chicken and sauté until cooked through, cooking in batches if necessary.

3. Add rice and saffron strands; stir until rice is thoroughly coated with olive oil and the saffron has colored everything a golden yellow.

Return onions and garlic to the pot; add the chopped tomatoes and about half of the juice. Mix with rice, chicken and saffron; add two and one-quarter cups boiled hot water, a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper.

Place pot over medium-high flame, reducing heat to medium once water boils.

In the meantime, remove the roasted red peppers from the bag and use a knife to scrape skin off peppers. Cut off the stem, slice pepper open lengthwise and use knife to scrape out seeds. Julienne peppers and set aside.

4. Slice pepperoni about one-eighth to one-fourth of an inch thick. Arrange on a paper towel covered plate; cover with another paper towel and microwave for about two and a half to three minutes, or until pepperoni is just crunchy. Discard paper towels and set pepperoni aside.

Clean shrimp and remove crab legs from shells; set aside. Separate squid tentacles from bodies; set tentacles aside and chop bodies into even thirds, then set aside with tentacles.

5. Once the majority of the water has been absorbed, add peas, pepperoni, roasted peppers and tomatoes.

Mix in seafood, salt and pepper to taste, and mix until completely combined.

Let cook until the rice has absorbed all liquid, and the seafood is cooked through. Serve warm.

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