Paella with Chicken and Chorizo

One dish I didn’t have a chance to have was traditional paella on our trip to Spain last year but I did have it years ago on my first trip.  I’ve always enjoyed good food but in the past few years I’ve approached it with an eye to be able to recreate dishes.  Given all the great food on our trip I just didn’t have enough meals to get round to it.  Guess I’ll have to go back.  🙂

I found a recipe for an Easy Paella  to try with chicken and chorizo sausage.  While this wouldn’t be a traditional paella it does have a lot of the flavours and it takes about an hour to make.  Traditional recipes can take 2 hours to make.  I didn’t include the shrimp as half of us don’t like seafood but it can easily added to the dish.  I also used brown rice as that is what we had on hand, it takes a little longer to cook and doesn’t show off the saffron as much but works well.

I cubed 3/4lb of chicken and tossed it with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a tablespoon of paprika, a couple of teaspoons of dried oregano, and salt and pepper.  Chill in the fridge while prepping and starting the rice.

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In a large skillet that has a cover heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and saute the rice.  I used a cup of rice as there was only four of us.  Add 3 cloves of chopped garlic, and a teaspoon or so of red pepper flakes.  Cook this for a couple of minutes.

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Add a pinch of saffron.

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Add chicken stock in the amount that is needed for the rice you use.  For this dish I needed 2 cups of chicken stock.   Add fresh flat leaf parsley, a bay leaf, and a few squirts of lemon juice.  The recipe called for lemon zest instead and I would normally use that but I couldn’t find organic lemons at the store so I went with the next best thing.  Bring to a boil then cover and then lower the heat to a simmer.

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About 10 minutes or so before the rice is finished cooking chop up half a red onion and a bell pepper.  Saute the chicken, chorizo sausage, pepper and onion in olive oil.

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Add to the rice and finish simmering. Once the rice is cooked it is ready to serve.

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I’m curious about the root of this dish as it’s not far off from a gumbo.  I have a feeling that a cousin of paella made it’s way to New Orleans at some point and influenced the gumbo.  I find it fascinating the journey of global food.

 

 

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Jambalaya – The Cure for Odds and Sods

I usually try to be very good with using the ingredients on hand in an efficient way.  Pick a protein and do a few meals with it, that sort of thing.  Once in awhile we go overboard with different things to eat and suddenly I’m faced with several things that need to be used up if we don’t want it all to go to waste.  This week I opened the fridge to be faced with a chicken breast, some kielbasa, and rabbit sausage.  What to do, what to do.

I’ve never been to New Orleans but I love the food and music.  There is a sense that corsets were never as tight as they were up here.  There is a great spirit to the food and music.  It’s on my bucket list to swing by.  🙂  I do love a good jambalaya and thought it would be perfect to use up the different proteins in one dish.  It is also a very easy dish to throw together on a week night when there are sports and school meetings.

Our pepper plants are still going strong so I grabbed a few hot peppers to use.

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I chopped up half an onion, several cloves of garlic, the peppers, and the meat.   In a skillet with hot olive oil I sauteed the onions and garlic for a few minutes then added the peppers and the meat.

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While this was cooking I sliced several tomatoes from our garden that are in the good cooking stage.  In other words, not good and firm for salads but perfect for stewing.  Again, didn’t want them to go to waste!

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I added about a cup of chicken stock and brought it to a simmer.  Then I added a couple of teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, some oregano, and a cajun seasoning mix.  Stir and simmer.

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I cooked some mushroom and herb rice pilaf almost to being done and then added it to the jambalaya to absorb the flavours and finish cooking.  Then it is ready to serve.

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The flavours were hearty but not heavy on the stomach which was good as my son had to dash off for an evening of running round.  🙂