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Chicken, Chorizo and Mushroom Paella

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Few dishes are more festive than a paella cooked outdoors. Fire up the grill and enjoy a warm evening with friends. The entire paella can be cooked on the grill; just cover with foil during the last 5 minutes of cooking, and let the foil remain while the paella rests. This dish, created by Leslie Horne of Les Dames d’Escoffier, will be served at the 2010 Olives Olé  on March 27 at Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard.

Chicken, Chorizo and Mushroom Paella

Terry Thompson Anderson’s Secret Poultry Spice Rub:
1/4 cup cumin seed
2 tablespoons coriander seed
1 1/2 teaspoons Tellicherry peppercorns
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons Spanish smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons salt

6 cups chicken broth
¼ teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
3 tablespoons spice rub
Kosher salt
6 chicken thighs
¼ cup olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 links Aurelia’s Spanish Style Chorizo or other Spanish-style chorizo, sliced into ¼ inch thick sliced (see note)
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
1 medium tomato, grated or finely diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
3 cups short grain rice
2 cups green peas
Roasted red pepper strips for garnish (Can be purchased in a jar, or roast your own)

To make the spice mix, toast the cumin and coriander seeds until very aromatic.  Grind them to a powder with the peppercorns.  Transfer to a small bowl and blend in remaining spices, mixing thoroughly.  Store in airtight container.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine chicken broth and saffron in large pot and heat to almost boiling. (Do not let it boil, or it will evaporate.) Dust spice rub and salt over chicken thighs.

In a 15-inch paella pan, over 2 burners, heat olive oil.  Brown chicken on all sides, but do not cook through. Remove from pan and set aside. Add onion and bell pepper, cooking until onion is wilted and translucent. Add chorizo and mushrooms, cook for 2 minutes. Add tomato, garlic and parsley. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms begin to soften and garlic becomes aromatic.

Add 3 cups rice; stir to coat with pan drippings. Return chicken thighs to pan. Carefully add the hot saffron chicken broth. Taste and adjust the salt if needed. Bring the stock to a boil; cook for 5 – 7 minutes rotating pan over two burners. Scatter peas evenly over entire pan but do not stir. Garnish the top of paella with strips of roasted red peppers.

Place in preheated oven and continue to cook for 15-20 min. or until rice is al dente. Remove from oven and cover with foil and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

(Photo: Tracie Maurer)

Note: Mexican-style chorizo cannot be substituted in the recipe.

Paella serves 6.  Spice Rub makes about 3/4 cup.

From Leslie Horne

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