Saturday, May 14, 2011

Oven Baked Paella

By Kathryn Washburn Breighner

This was so good that is was a surprise. Each mouthful lead to a "wow". We love paella and have saffron, smoked paprika, and Spanish Bomba rice in the pantry and we've mastered and enjoy a stove top paella.

But this oven baked version really carries a lot of flavor and it allowed for the development of the coveted paella crust, or soccarat, on the bottom. The texture of the rice was quite different that the stove top version and nicely absorbed the broth. And it's easy!

Here is how it went together:

In a Dutch oven, brown 4-6 chicken thighs and legs in 2 T olive oil.  Season them with salt and pepper and 1/2 t smoked paprika.

Remove the chicken and add to the Dutch oven:
1 med onion, chopped,
2 gloves garlic minced

Saute the onion and garlic until the onion begins to soften, about five minutes.  Add to the Dutch oven:

1/2 pound spicy sausage sliced into 1/4" rounds. I used Andouille but chorizo or another sausage that is spicy would be great. Cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Add to the mixture:
1 c chopped, drained canned tomatoes
2 c chicken broth
1/4 t saffron threads
1/2 t smoked paprika

Bring mixture to a simmer and add:
1 c Arborio or Bomba rice
The chicken pieces

Put the Dutch oven in a 350 degree F oven and bake 20-25 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Do not stir to disturb the crust that develops on the bottom. Serve with some Spanish wine or a good, cold beer and enjoy!

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