I’ve been looking forward to making a nice paella ever since last month when I returned from my vacation with some excellent Moroccan saffron. I know that most paella recipes call for short grain or arborio rice, and while I adore risotto, for paella I prefer the grains of rice to be separate as in a pilaf. For that reason, I used a very good quality besmati rice that would hold it’s own against the other ingredients.
- 1 coffee mug besmati rice
- 12 medium shrimp, peeled and cleaned
- 3 chicken breast tenders, cut into pieces
- 2 chicken chorizo sausages
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 sweet red or orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1 rounded tsp. tomato paste
- 1 rounded tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 2/3 coffee mug chicken broth
- Olive oil
Dry fry the chicken chorizo partially through, then slice them into chunks and set them off to the side.
Heat a little olive oil in the bottom of a large bottomed pot. Now, if you are fortunate enough to own a paella pan, wonderful! I don’t, so I used my largest copper pot, in order to have as much cooking surface as possible. It worked just fine, but I am a sucker for kitchen accessories, and if I were to start making paella quite often I would invest in a good paella pan.
However, back to the subject at hand. Heat a little oil in the bottom of the pot, and add the chopped onions. While they begin to sizzle, mince three cloves of garlic. When the onion just starts to turn golden around the edges, add the garlic and the chopped chicken tenders and allow to cook till the chicken is nearly done through. Add the tomato paste and cumin and stir through, being careful not to allow the tomato paste to scorch.
By this time, if you are at all like me, you will be getting hungry from the aromas wafting through your kitchen, so add the chopped bell pepper, the chorizo, the rice, and the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then cover tightly and lower heat to the minimum. Leave to cook for 12 minutes, then carefully lift the lid. Arrange the 12 cleaned shrimp over the top of the rice and quickly replace the cover. Cook for another 8 minutes, then remove from heat.
Allow the rice to rest for at least 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork and serve piled high, sprinkled with a touch of chopped parsley if desired.