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Finally! Paella!

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pitrow View Drop Down
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    Posted: 30 May 2017 at 13:17
Let me preface this thread by saying I bought a paellera when they were on sale almost 4 years ago with the intent of making this dish. As is typical, life gets in the way and that pan sat in the back of my cupboard, lonely, dusty, and needing some love since then. Well, this past weekend was finally it's chance to shine as all the kids were out of the house (minus the almost 3 year old, but he doesn't count) so they couldn't complain about what I made for dinner, and my wife was laid up after having surgery, so we were stuck at home Smile

I started with a mash-up of several recipes I'd found both here and on the internet.

Ingredients - (3-4 servings)

1/4 lb spanish chorizo / linguicia / smoked sausage, cut into coins
4 chicken thighs, skin on, boneless
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper cut into strips
1/4 lb trimmed fresh green beans cut to 1-2" lengths
1 medium tomato, deseeded, grated, no skin
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp +/- smoked paprika (to taste)
7 saffron threads
1 cup bomba or calasparra rice
4 cups chicken stock or broth (kept warm)
Salt
Pepper
Olive Oil

Unfortunately this cook did not go off without a hitch, but we'll get into that as I go.

First the ingredients looking all pretty.


Then a little prep for the mess-in-place, chopped the onion and sliced the bell pepper. Washed, trimmed and sized the green beans, and deseeded and grated the tomato


Next I browned the chicken in a little bit of olive oil. Here's where my first mistake came in. I totally forgot to season the chicken, so in the end they came out a little flavorless. Next time definitely need to season them, and maybe even marinade them before hand.


After the chicken was browned I removed them and added the chorizo and onions. Boy, I was not prepared for the amount of grease the chorizo would release. I ended up draining off probably a good half cup worth. Once the onions were translucent, I added the green beans and peppers and let them cook down a bit. Then the heat was reduced to low and the garlic added to cook a bit without scorching, followed by the grated tomato with I let simmer for a while to cook down.


Meanwhile, the chicken stock had been warming in a pot, and I added the saffron threads. Second mistake, I really underestimated the number of threads I should have used. I ended up using about 10, but I didn't really notice much of a result, so next time I think a couple more. 1 cup of rice was added to the paellera, along with about 2 cups of the chicken stock, all that it would hold. The remaining stock stayed on the stove on low to keep warm.


The paella simmered away at this point, the rice soaking up the stock and everything getting nice and flavorful. This is where the third issue came in. Since this was my first time I wanted to try this in the comfort of my kitchen rather than on the grill, but my stove top is a flat top, and sadly the paellera is not perfectly flat on the bottom, so getting even heat was a bit difficult. In the end I wound up with a heavily burnt spot in the center and no crust at all on the edges. I foresee some time with a straight edge and a hammer in the paellera's future soon. Anyway, after about 8 minutes I added the chicken back on top and topped up the chicken stock with about another cup's worth.


At this point is was a waiting game, periodically checking the rice for done-ness and adding extra stock as needed. I ended up using almost the entire 4 cups of stock.

Finished product




Now for the results. I will say it wasn't bad for a first try, but a little bit underwhelming really. The lack of seasoning on the chicken, and I think just an overall lack of seasoning on everything made it a little bland tasting. Plus the burnt part in the middle contributed a slightly bitter taste to any bites that had some in it. That said, I think it definitely has potential and with some changes to the recipe and technique it could be a real winner. This will definitely not be my last time making this. I just hope the next time is a little sooner than 4 years. LOL
Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2017 at 04:00


LOOKS FANTASTIC PITROW ..

Do not criticize yourself so much.   Seasoning YOU HAVE IT:   Saffron threads (12), salt, freshly ground black pepper, smoked pimentón paprika, tomato, Onion, garlic,  red bell, green bell ( the SOFRITO BASE ), EVOO,  no water !!  THE CHICKEN STOCK IN THIS CASE, AND SOME FRESH PARSLEY.
BUT YOU SHOULD OF ADDED ONION AND GARLIC IN THE SOFRITO --

MAYBE YOU DID  ???  

TRADITIONAL PAELLA IS NOT SPICY .. 

WITH THIS RICE DISH,  YOU COULD OF PREPARED AN " ALI OLI GARLICY MAYONNAISE "  WHICH IS PREPARED:  (  TO SERVE ON SIDE WITH THE RICE DISH ) ..


4 OR 5 CLOVES OF GARLIC
1 egg yolk
EVOO -  30 Ml.   
 
WHISK IN METAL BOWL CLOCK WISE !!!


VOILA !!!!!  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 June 2017 at 04:11
A nice first effort Mike. When I first started making paella I had a few seasoning problems as well, but finally came across a recipe that uses amounts per person rather than the dish as a whole. I'll post it here for your reference if you think it may help.

This is now my go-to recipe for paella.

Paella


The Spanish one-dish meal named after the pan it is cooked in. A pallera...try this out on the grill.
It is well worth it to purchase an inexpensive paellera and also the imported Bomba rice.
All paellas are a bit different...I like this recipe because there are only set amounts per person.
I have made this paella (opposite) and the ratios per person worked out to a Tee.

   1/3 cup bomba rice per person
   1 cup chicken broth per person
   1/8 tsp saffron per person
   Extra virgin olive oil to cover the paellera
   1 chicken thigh per person
   1/2 stick chorizo sausage per person, sliced in 1/4" pieces
   1/2 tsp pimenton (smoked sweet paprika) per person.
   1 clove minced garlic per person
   1/4 cup chopped onions per person
   1/8 cup grated tomato per person
   2 large shrimp per person
   4 small clams and mussels per person
   1 jar piquillo peppers cut into strips
   1/4 cup fresh or frozen green peas per person
   Lemon wedges to garnish


Bring the paellera to temperature over high heat (whatever method you are using).
Heat the chicken stock in a different pot with the saffron.
Add the olive oil to the paellera and cook the chicken until it begins to brown.
Add the garlic and onion and saute until transparent.
Add chorizo and cook until heated, and rendering some of it's fat
Add the rice and stir until well coated with oil.
Add the paprika, grated tomato and saffron and stir.
Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil while scraping the bottom of the pan.
Now the rice should be level and you should not have to stir anymore.
Try to keep the heat at a simmer..if you're using the stove, you may have to use two burners and turn the pan frequently.
When the rice has absorbed some liquid but still has a soupy appearance, add the mussels and clams.
Once the rice is cooked, add the shrimp, tucking them down into the rice, then the pepper strips and the green peas.
During this time the rice should be caramelizing on the bottom of the pan, creating the socarrat, or toasted layer of rice.
Turn up the heat a little if necessary to achieve this...you'll hear the rice crackling and it will smell sweet.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley, garnish with lemon wedges and serve.




Go ahead...play with your food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 June 2017 at 09:26
Thanks Dave! I'll give that a shot next time. I also realized that the smoked paprika I used was purchased at the same time as the paellera, so it's at least 4 years old too, probably not much flavor left in that. I'll need to pick some more up before the next attempt. 
Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 June 2017 at 14:43
ok, so here's the rub. I had the left overs for lunch today, and they seemed much more flavorful! I wonder if it wasn't just a case of my standing in the kitchen smelling all those wonderful smells for so long that my nose and taste buds got a little burned out. I know it can happen for me when I'm smoking things for a long time too.

Anyway, I've also decided that no matter how nice and crispy chicken skin is before hand, reheated, microwaved chicken skin is horrible!
Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 June 2017 at 17:28
Recipe per person...interesting Hose! With paella I think that actually makes sense. Thanks for posting.

Little, give it another try right away while things are fresh in your mind. For me, paella is all about the rice. The key factor is making sure everything you use is a quality example of that ingredient. It doesn't have to be the most expensive, but fresh and flavorful.

     When I cook, especially paella, I drain every single layer that I'm cooking. Cook chicken, drain. Cook vegetables, season. Heat broth, season. Have it all combined, taste and drain. You mentioned you did forget to season the chicken, but did you continue to season each other step? (When seasoning water for rice or pasta, I'll not only add salt, but I'll taste and adjust for proper seasoning even in water)

   I would say don't overcook your protein, I'll let them finish in the final cook. If you're using box stock you can always heat some chicken feet or thigh bones in there before using.

   Can't wait to hear how the next one goes!

   It really did look good, you've just got to fine tune things now
Enjoy The Food!
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