Mixed Paella

Ideal for the cooler nights, this delicious Spanish dish comes from one of our favourite food bloggers, Spoon Fork Bacon who innovatively enhance a simple dish to create mind-blowing recipes. This week we are featuring a classic family-style dish from Spain, whilst combining the usual flavours’ (chicken & chorizo and seafood) into one, we have also infused Saffron for a mouth-watering addition. This fragrant and perfume-like spice is expensive yet worth it, as it will tickle your taste buds by including only a tiny amount, therefore will last a long time to enhance other delicious dishes.

This meal is perfect for family or friend gatherings or dinner parties as it serves 5-6 people. Even though it is a little time consuming, it is really not as intimidating to make as it may seem. With amazing presentation all your guests will be very impressed with your skills in the kitchen!

A little tip: The key to a great paella starts from the backbone of the dish, the soffrito. A soffrito (in Spain) is generally a mixture of onions, garlic and tomatoes that are cooked down and caramelized for hours until you’re left with almost a thick “paste”. This mix is so good and really sets a great base flavour for this dish.

Happy cooking!!

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 onions, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
3 roma tomatoes, diced (seeds and all)
5 1/2 cups chicken stock/broth
1/2 teaspoon saffron
12 tiger shrimp, peeled and cleaned
12 Venus clams, scrubbed clean
12 black mussels, beards removed and scrubbed clean
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 (each) chicken legs and thighs
2 chicken breasts, each cut in half
1 Spanish chorizo, thinly sliced on a bias
2 cups (Spanish) short grain rice
salt and pepper to taste
fresh parsley, minced
lemon wedges
sweet peas, blanched (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Pour oil into a heavy bottom skillet, over medium-low heat.
3. Add all soffrito ingredients into skillet, except tomatoes, and stir. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Allow mixture to caramelize for about 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
5. Stir in tomatoes and cook down an additional 30 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Remove from heat an allow to cool completely.
7. Pour stock and saffron into a medium saucepan, place over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
8. Poach seafood in the saffron infused stock, one type at a time, until shrimp has just cooked through and the clams and mussels have just opened. Remove from stock and set aside covered.

9. Pour oil into a 14-16” paella pan (or heavy bottom skillet) and place over medium-high heat.
10. Season chicken piece with salt and pepper and sear on each side for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
11. Brown chorizo for about 1 to 2 minutes and remove from pan. Set aside.
12. Drain all but 2 tablespoons grease from pan and add rice, chorizo and 1/4 cup soffrito to pan and season with salt and pepper. Stir together and sauté for about 2 minutes.
13. Pour hot stock over rice mixture and bring to a boil. Once mixture has come to a boil add chicken pieces back into the pan (gently tucking each piece down into the rice mixture). Place paella pan into the oven, covered with foil, and baked for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove cover and continue to bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated and the rice has cooked through.
14. Remove from oven and top with poached seafood (slightly warm seafood, if needed).
15. Finish with a sprinkle of parsley, lemon wedges and sweet peas, if using. Serve. And enjoy