I got to do a great event last night - some business friends Phil and Natasha had a party and asked me to come and make Paella. What a great thing it was. I don’t always get to be out in the kitchen as much as I would like and I was there in the middle of the party cooking where the guests could watch.
Paella is a classic Spanish rice dish that is made open style, you never actually cover it. For this event I made it with Chicken Thighs, Sausage, Peas, Roasted Peppers and Artichokes. It is often combined with many seafoods. One of the key ingredients is saffron - one of my absolutely favorite spices - every time I cook with it I have to start with sniffing the bag for the beautiful aromas - who says cooking is not addictive.
For cooking heat I used an outdoor propane burner (much like that for a crab boil or deep fried turkey) and a large heavy skillet with slanted sides.
Brown together; brown in small batches, and as it is done push it up the sides of the pan away from the hottest part of the pan.
2 cups chopped garlic
1 tsp saffron
Place in the center of the pan and sauté
10 cups of rice - a medium grain rice that holds well (for ease on an outdoor event I used Uncle Bens)
By tradition the rice is poured on in a cross format, ostensibly honoring JC given Spain’s Christian background, but from a cooks perspective it offers a good visual add for anyone who cooks paella regularly as to how much rice to put in (saves that pesky measuring step). I suggest you measure it for the first 50 batches or so.
Then stir it into the to the meat mixture, making sure the rice is mixed in well and covered by the other ingredients.
Each time making sure to stir well bringing the outside edges in
Allow to simmer till only moist
2 lbs Frozen Peas