Chicken Paella

Chicken Paella
(Source: Thomas, Rachael)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Prep Time: 1½ hours

Yields: 6 servings

Stirrin' It Up: Chicken Paella (Sept. 25, 2018)

Comment:

Paella significantly influenced Louisiana cooking. Not only was the dish the forefather of jambalaya, but it was also a hearty meal that kept many Cajun and Creole families alive during hard times.

Ingredients:

1 (3-pound) fryer chicken

24 (21–25 count) shrimp, peeled and de-veined

1 tbsp saffron threads

4 cups chicken stock, divided

salt and cracked black pepper to taste

granulated garlic to taste

Louisiana hot sauce to taste

½ cup olive oil

1 pound chorizo or pork sausage, cut into (2-inch) links

½ cup diced onions

½ cup diced celery

½ cup diced red bell peppers

¼ cup minced garlic

½ cup sliced green onions

½ cup sliced mushrooms

½ cup diced ham

1 cup sweet peas

1 cup diced tomatoes

3 cups long grain rice

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried basil

Method:

Place saffron in a small glass bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Add ½ cup boiling stock to saffron and set aside to bloom. Cut chicken into serving pieces and season with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and hot sauce. In a 4-quart Dutch oven or 15-inch paella pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté chicken, a few pieces at a time, until browned on all sides. Remove and keep warm. In same oil, cook chorizo until medium well. Remove and set aside with chicken. In the same oil, sauté onions, celery, bell peppers, minced garlic, green onions, mushrooms, ham, peas, and tomatoes 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add rice and stir-fry into vegetables 3 minutes. Stir in remaining chicken stock, saffron with liquid, thyme, and basil. Season with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and hot sauce. Bring to a low boil and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Blend in cooked chicken, chorizo, and shrimp, then cover pan tightly with aluminum foil. Place over low heat or bake at 350°F for 30–45 minutes. Serve immediately.

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