My husband, David, is always working through the weekend which is difficult since I work the more traditional work week of Monday through Friday.
However, this week I was fortunate to have Veteran’s day off which meant that our schedules aligned briefly. We made the most of it by going to the farmer’s market in Costa Mesa, at the Orange County Fair Grounds.
At the end of the day we were exhausted but I knew before we even started the day that I wanted to make Paella for dinner. This was my first attempt at the Spanish meat-fish-poultry rice dish and I was surprised how well it turned out.
The rice is deliciously flavored and slightly short of al dente giving it great texture next to the mezcla of proteins. I also enjoyed this recipe because the majority of it is cooked in one pan (the exception is the heating up of the broth)—which makes preparing and cleaning a whole lot easier.
I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart Everyday Food television show. The recipe originally calls for shrimp as well as mussels; however the shrimp at the farmer’s market was slightly out of my cash budget so we simply went without it. Also, I used vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
When you go to plate this meal, serve it up with a torn piece of crusty baguette for a warm and fulfilling dinner.
4 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon crushed saffron
1 teaspoon smoked paprika or sweet paprika
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 1 pound total)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
6 ounces dried chorizo, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 medium onion, diced small
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
12 mussels, scrubbed
(1/2 pound medium shell-on shrimp, deveined)* once again we went without shrimp and it turned out just fine.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lowest position. In a saucepan, combine broth, saffron, and paprika; bring to a simmer and keep warm.
In a large skillet (at least 12 inches wide), heat oil over medium. Season chicken with salt and pepper. When oil is very hot, cook chicken, skin side down, until skin is golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip, spoon off all but 1 teaspoon fat from skillet, and push chicken to side.
Add chorizo to skillet and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Add rice; stir to coat thoroughly with tomato-chorizo mixture. Stir in hot broth and 1/2 teaspoon salt (skillet will be very full). Arrange chicken evenly on top, making sure rice is submerged. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring rice occasionally, 8 minutes. Nestle mussels in cooking liquid and cook 2 minutes more.(Arrange shrimp on top- if using.)
Place skillet in oven and cook until all liquid is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes. Let paella stand 10 minutes before serving.
Paella adapted from Everyday Food by Martha Stewart
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The Wilfert Group
Rachell A. Wilfert