This week Meg of Fledgling Foodie picked our recipe for the week: Pared-Down Paella with Peas, Clams, and Chorizo.
While the simplicity of Mark Bittman's simplified version is appealing, I decided to kick it up a notch instead. I merged Bittman's recipe with Esperanza's Paella in José Pizarro's Seasonal Spanish Food that my cousin Tiffany gave me for Christmas. I like José's inclusion of chicken and green beans, but skipped the rabbit and the fava beans. I'm allergic to fava, sadly.
Here's my Kicked Up a Notch Paella...
2 shallots, minced
6 oz chorizo (I used soy chorizo)
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 C brown basmati rice
1/2 C fresh tomato sauce
1 C fresh peas
1 C cut green beans
1 C cubed chicken
2 lbs clams
pinch of saffron
2 C hot water
2 C chicken broth
1 T cilantro
lemon wedges for garnish
Soak the saffron in the hot water. In a large, flat-bottom pan, heat a splash of olive oil and cook your shallots until they are softened and translucent. Add the chorizo and cook until nicely browned.
Add the cubes of chicken and cook until done. Stir in the peas, red bell peppers, green beans and rice. Saute for a minute or two - until the rice is glossy and coated with oil. Add in the tomato sauce, saffron water, chicken broth, and cilantro. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Check for doneness and add water if the rice is not quite tender.
Place the clams on top of the rice mixture. Cover and steam for 10 minutes - until the clams are open. Discard any clams that do not open. Garnish with a sprinkling of smoked paprika. Serve hot with lemon wedges.