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Updated On: Mar 05, 2007

PAELLA by Captain Vince Tanner Retired BFD


This is a dish that you don’t just cook ...You actually build it!


1/2 cup olive oil                                                1 fryer chicken (about 2 lbs.) cut into small pieces

1/2 lb. Chorizo (Spanish sausage)***                 3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 yellow onions, peeled & sliced                        2 ripe tomatoes, diced

1/4 lb. smoked ham, cut julienne             3 cups chicken stock

2 cups uncooked long grain rice                      1 Tbs. paprika

2 red sweet peppers cut into rings                       1/4 tsp. whole thyme

1 lb squid, cut into 1/4 inch circles               1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 1/2 lbs. small clams, in shells & cleaned            Dash of good saffron

1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled & deveined            1 cup crisp white wine

1 box (10 ounce) frozen peas, defrosted            Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

1 box (10 ounce) frozen artichoke hearts

            defrosted (don’t use ones in oil)



*** (Recipe for Chorizo)


This simple but elegant Spanish sausage which you do not pre cook is essential for flavor so don’t omit it if at all possible. It’s well worth the extra time.  By all means don’t use regular or Italian sausage.  The resulting taste will over-power the delicate seafood flavors.


1/2 lb. coarsely ground lean pork                 1/2 tsp. salt

1 Tbs. chili powder                                                1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon                                  1/2 Tbs. paprika

1 garlic clove, crushed                                    1/2 tsp. oregano

1 Tbs. cider vinegar                                     1 Tbs. water


Now the hard part of the Chorizo recipe... combine all ingredients, mixing well.




Heat a large paella pan or very large skillet.  Add 1/4 cup of olive oil and brown the chicken pieces.  Remove them from the pan and set aside.  Add the raw Chorizo, the onions, garlic, and ham.  Sauté until the onions are clear and then add the diced tomatoes.  Sauté for five minutes more and remove from the pan.


Add the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil to the pan and add the uncooked rice, stirring over medium heat until the rice starts to brown lightly.


In the meantime, bring the chicken stock to a boil.  Add the saffron, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, thyme, salt, and black pepper to the stock.  Reduce to a fast simmer.


Pour the thawed peas over the rice in the paella pan, top with red bell pepper slices and artichoke hearts.  Add the Chorizo mixture along with the chicken, distributing evenly.  Top with the squid and shrimp.  Push the seafood down into the rice a bit then pour the simmering stock gently over the pan being careful not to churn up your creation.


Cook, uncovered, for about ten minutes, or until the rice begins to absorb the liquid.  Be careful this does not burn!!  Turn the pan often on the burner so that everything cooks evenly.  Now add the clams, hinged side down.  Pour the wine slowly over the whole pan and continue cooking until the clams are wide open and the rice is light and tender. 


Serves at least 8

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