I had an incresible time at Williams Sonoma in Beverly Hills! Cooking paella is one of my favorite dishes and to share my recipe and technique with others was definitely a treat! We laughed, ate paella of course, and shared some really good energy! I can’t wait to come back! Here’s the recipe below:
12 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 lbs fresh mussels
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ancho chili powder
4 links fresh soy chorizo
8 cups chicken broth
3/4 bottle (about 2 3/4 cups) dry white wine
2 teaspoons saffron threads, preferably Iranian
1/4 cup olive oil
3 medium onion, chopped
1 bunch scallions, sliced
1 jar tomato purée
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 large red bell peppers, sliced into strips
1 1-kilogram bag short-grained Spanish rice, preferably bomba or Calasparra
4 medium-size ripe tomatoes, quartered
3 cups green peas (optional)
Heat paella pan or large skillet with high sides to medium high heat for searing the chicken thighs.
Season the chicken thighs liberally with salt and pepper. Put the thighs, then the chorizo (if using fresh) In the skillet and sear well without cooking through, about 3 to 4 minutes per side for each. (If using dried chorizo, simply slice into chunks and add in later.) As each is seared, remove from the grill and set aside. As soon as the chorizo is cool enough, slice it diagonally into bite-size chunks.
Meanwhile, combine the chicken broth, wine and saffron in a medium saucepan, bring just enough to a low simmer.
In the same paella pan, add the olive oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onion and bell peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 3 minutes, adjusting the pan on the heat as needed to prevent burning. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add the quartered tomatoes about 3 or 4 minutes.
Add the rice and stir until well coated, then add the tomato purée along with the spices and smooth out the rice to an even thickness. Slowly and without stirring, add enough of the broth mixture to leave just a thin layer of broth above the rice, then tuck the chicken pieces into the rice. Simmer slowly, moving the pan around on the fire as needed to keep the simmer going; avoid boiling. Gently add small amounts of liquid as needed so it’s not totally dry. When the rice is creamy and just al dente and the chicken, chorizo are cooked through (should take 20 to 35 minutes). After that toss in your fresh mussels and stir to incorporate, make sure there’s enough liquid in the pan to steam the mussels so they open up (should only take a couple minutes). remove pan from heat and stir in the peas, if using. Garnish scallions on top.