Three 1-pound live lobsters
1 ½ pounds (22 to 23) large rawshrimps in their shells
24 small hard-shelled clams
1 pound garlic-seasoned, smoked pork sausage
One 1 ½ – to2-pound chicken, cut into 12 serving pieces
or use 6 chicken breasts
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup olive oil
2 ounces lean boneless pork, cut into ¼-inch cubes
½ cup finelychopped onions
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 medium-sized sweet red or green pepper, seeded,
and cut into strips, 1½- inches-long and ¼-inch -wide
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and finely chopped, or
substitute ¾cup chopped, drained, canned tomatoes
3 cups raw medium or long-grain white rice
¼ teaspoonsaffron threads, pulverized with a mortar & pestle
6 cups boiling water or homemade chicken broth
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen peas
2 (4-oz.) cans pimentos, sliced, for color
2 lemons, each cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
Feel free to vary the combination of chicken, meats andshellfish. You may omit the lobsteraltogether or replace it with 6 or 8 additional shrimp. Clams and mussels may be used interchangeably.
First prepare the shellfish. Youmay want to ask the fish market to cut up the lobster. If not, use a cleaver to chop off the tail section where itjoins the body and twist off the large claws. Leave shell on.
Prepare lobster as you prefer. Insome recipes lobster is sautéed prior to being added to paella for finalcooking. You may choose to steam itbriefly.
Shell the shrimp, leaving the tails intact. Devein, if necessary. Scrubthe clams and mussels thoroughly with a stiff brush under cold running water;remove the black, ropelike tufts from the mussels. Set all aside.
Place the sausages in an 8- to 10-inch skillet and prickthem in two or three places. Addcold water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and slice them into ¼-inch rounds.
Pat the chicken dry, remove skin and season pieces with 1teaspoon of salt and a few grindings of pepper. In a heavy 10- to 12-inch skillet, heat 1/4 cup of olive oilover high heat until a light haze forms above it. Add the chicken and brown it well, turning the pieces with tongs andregulating the heat so they color evenly without burning.
Remove browned chicken pieces to a plate.
If using fresh tomatoes–
Drop the fresh tomatoes into a pan of boiling water and let them boil brisklyfor about 10 seconds. Run coldwater over them, and with a small, sharp knife peel them. Cut out the stems, then slice the tomatoes in half crosswise. Squeeze the halves gently to remove the seeds and juices, and chop thetomatoes as finely as possible. (Cannedtomatoes need only be thoroughly drained and chopped.)
To make the sofrito, discard all the fatremaining in the skillet and in its place add the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil. Heat oil until a light haze forms above it, add the pork and brown itquickly on all sides over high heat. Addonions, garlic, pepper strips and chopped tomato. Stirring constantly, cook briskly until most of the liquid in the panevaporates and the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape lightly in a spoon. Set the sofrito aside.
About a forty-five minutes before you plan to serve thepaella, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a 14-inch paella pan or a skillet or casserole at least 14 inches indiameter and 2- to 2 ½-inches deep, combine the sofrito, rice, the remaining 1 teaspoon of saltand the pulverized saffron. Pour inthe hot stock or boiling water and, stirring constantly, bring to a boil overhigh heat. Remove the pan from theheat immediately. (Carefully tastethe hot liquid for seasoning and add more if necessary.)
Arrange the chicken, lobster, sausage, shrimp, clams andmussels on top of the rice and scatter the peas* at random over the whole. Set the pan on the floor of the oven and bake uncovered for 25 to 30minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice and the grains aretender but
not too soft. Atno point should the paella be stirred after it goes in the oven.
When the paella is done, remove it from the oven and drapea kitchen towel loosely over the top.
Let it rest for 10 minutes.
Then garnish the paella with the lemons and serve at the table directly from thepan.
*Since we prefer our peas on the rare side, I usuallywait to add them until about ten minutes before I plan to remove the paella fromthe oven. Just do not have the ovendoor open very long during this time while the rice is cooking.
Serve with a salad, a good, crusty French bread and a light dessert.
(Adapted from Time-Life’s International Series: Cookingof Spain)
This recipe has been kitchen tested.
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