Friday, May 9, 2014

Food Friday: Chicken & Chorizo Paella

I made my delicious paella for thesnarkyllama's knit-in last weekend and I wanted to share the recipe with you.  I was so surprised at how quickly the paella went.  Everyone loved it!  Makes the nurturer in me feel awesome!  Paella as I make it is a really easy dish to make.  Paella in Valencien Spanish means pan and the dish as it originated was a wide shallow pan layered with rice, rabbit, seafood, and vegetables.  I don't eat seafood and vastly prefer a Mexican style paella.  This dish isn't the most aesthetically-pleasing out there, but it's flavor more than makes up for that.  This is my recipe and when I was making it, I was all "it's my food; I do what I want."  So in went this and that.  You can use this as a base and customize it as you prefer.

Chicken and Chorizo Paella

1 pound Mexican Chorizo
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or your preferred section of chicken)
1 large yellow onion
2 tomatoes
2 green bell peppers
3 large cloves of garlic, minced or 1 Tbsp
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups rice
1/2 cup quinoa
4 cups chicken stock (16 oz box)

Cooking instructions:
Cook chicken until no pink remains; set aside to cool.  In the same pan, brown chorizo sausages.  Depending on the brand you buy, your sausage may end up in crumbles.  This is totally fine.  While the chicken and/or sausages are cooking, chop the vegetables into approximately 1/2" squares.  Keep the tomatoes in a separate bowl from the peppers and onions.  In a big pot, combine the rice, quinoa, and chicken stock and bring to a boil.  At the same time, break the chicken up into smaller pieces.  Once the rice is boiling, add everything else except the tomatoes, lower the temperature to medium-low, and cover to simmer. When the edges of the onions start becoming translucent (about 10 minutes), add the tomatoes.  Stir occasionally to keep the rice from sticking.  It's done when the rice is cooked through and all the chicken stock is absorbed.  This usually takes about 45 minutes.

You could also make this in a crock pot.  I'm very inexperienced when it comes to cooking in a crock pot, but this is my guess on how to make this recipe that way.  Follow all the instructions above except cook the rice, quinoa, and chicken stock on their own in the crock pot for about an hour on high.  Then add everything else and allow to cook for probably 4 more hours.  There is a lot of moisture in the vegetables to cook away.

Quinoa was something I added just because I had some sitting there.  You could easily skip that or add more rice in it's place.  You could also use water instead of chicken stock.  The flavor won't be quite the same, but it will be tasty anyway.  I also hear people love shrimp in their paella.  You would want to add those in the last 8-10 minutes of simmering so they don't get balloony.  I forgot to add a bay leaf to this latest paella.  Those add a good flavor especially if you use water instead of chicken stock.

Helpful tip about chorizo:  That stuff is GREASY.  Drain that meat before you add it to the big pot.

Try it.  Love it.  Tell me all about it!  The printer-friendly version is here.  (link will open in a new window)

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