Seafood Paella with Saffron Aioli

By Platings and Pairings

INGREDIENTS

Spice Mix for Chicken:
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Herb Blend:
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Paella:
  • 32 oz. chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 links Spanish chorizo sausage (about 9 ounces), cut into ½-inch-thick slices
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can sliced tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 3 cups uncooked Village Harvest Arborio rice
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 8 unpeeled jumbo shrimp (about ½ pound)
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon wedges (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Saffron Aioli:
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
Special Equipment: 15-inch Paella Pan

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Rub the spice mix all over the chicken and marinate chicken for 1 hour in the refrigerator (or overnight).
  2. Prepare the herb blend and set aside.
  3. Combine broth, water and saffron in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer and keep warm over low heat (do not boil).
  4. Heat oil in paella pan over medium-high heat. Sautee the chorizo until browned, remove and reserve. Add chicken and brown on all sides. Remove from pan and reserve.
  5. In the same pan, sautee the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes on medium heat, until fragrant. Add tomatoes and paprika and cook until mixture caramelizes a bit. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains.
  6. Stir the warmed broth mixture into the rice, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid.
  7. Add the herb mixture, peas, chicken and chorizo and stir. Add the clams and shrimp, tucking them into the rice. Continue to cook over medium heat until the shrimp turn pink and the clams open, approximately 8 minutes.
  8. Give the paella a good shake and let it simmer, without stirring, until the rice is al dente, for about 15 minutes.
  9. When the paella is cooked and the rice looks fluffy and moist, turn the heat up for 40 seconds until you can smell the rice toast at the bottom.
  10. Remove from heat and sprinkle with ¼ cup lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a towel, and let stand 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges and saffron aioli (instructions follow).
  11. To make the aioli: In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the egg yolks, garlic clove, saffron and a pinch of salt. Whisk at high speed while adding the oil drop by drop. As the mixture thickens, increase the oil to a very thin trickle until it is used up and the aioli is thick and wobbly. Adjust the seasoning with a squeeze of lemon juice and more salt, if needed.

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