Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Authentic Spanish Paella

We had this for Christmas Eve dinner and it was a real treat. It has a lot of steps so it's not something you will make often but for a special occasion it is the perfect meal. It helps if you can make the broth a day ahead. The authentic way to make paella is outdoors but this one has been adjusted to make at home. Paella is best prepared over an open fire, charcoal BBQ or gas paella burner. The reason for this is so that the heat is evenly distributed and because the heat should gradually decrease as you are cooking it. If you prepare paella often, you may want to invest in a Paella Burner & Adjustable Tripod Stand, designed specifically for cooking paella outside. They usually come with two ring burners and allow adjusting each ring separately. These burners connect to a propane tank via a hose and regulator. (see photo below)


2 TBSP olive oil
12 cups chicken or fish broth
1 cup white wine
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
handful each of parsley and cilantro
2 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme
6-8 whole black peppercorns
2 stalks green onion
1 onion, quartered
4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 tsp cumin
3 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 TBSP saffron threads, crushed
splash tabasco sauce

1. Add all of the ingredients to a large soup pot
2. Boil for 30 minutes (it should be pretty salty)
3. Cool, sieve and refrigerate

Sofrito (you will need 4 cups total)
3 medium onions
8 plum tomatoes with seeds and skin, cut in half
1/4 cup pimentos

1. Place onions in a cuisinart and process until finely diced.
2. Add the tomatoes and pimentos, process until everything is diced; set aside


1/4 cup olive oil
10-12 cups broth (remove from refrigerator a few hours before using)
4 cups sofrito
4 large garlic cloves, pressed
8 cups arborio rice
2 lbs. shrimp, shelled, deveined, lightly salt & peppered
3 lobster tails, shelled, sliced, lightly salt & peppered
2 lbs. chicken breast, cut into small chunks, lightly salt & peppered
1 1/2 lbs. pork loin, cut into small chunks, lightly salt & peppered
1 cup frozen peas, thawed and drained
1 cup artichoke hearts, quartered
fresh asparagus tips (for decoration)
pimentos, sliced into strips (for decoration)
green olives (for decoration)

1. Place the broth in a large soup pot and heat through, lower heat but don't allow to cool
2. In an 18 inch large skillet heat the olive oil, almost covering the bottom (this might seem like a lot but it's not)
3. Add pork and sauté until no longer pink
4. Add chicken and sauté until no longer pink; Add the garlic
5. Add sofrito and cook about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent
6. Add the rice and stir well
7. Start adding the broth slowly, stirring in between until you have added 10 cups (save remainder in case you need more later)
8. Continue simmering, add the peas, artichoke hearts, asparagus, pimentos and olives
9. Cover with foil and lower temperature to low for 10 minutes.
10. Do not uncover just shake the skillet from side to side to prevent sticking
11. Leave an additional 10 minutes, uncover if too dry add a bit more broth
12. Add the shrimp and lobster (do not stir in just place on top of the rice), cover and leave another 10 minutes or until seafood is done (when it turns opaque)
13. Take off heat and let rest for 10 minutes, covered

Servings 12

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