A big part of recipe building is taking an idea and making it your own. Almost everything has already been done under the sun, but you can still put a unique spin on it. For my paella, I use the traditional arborio rice, prawns, clams, chicken and saffron, but for even more flavor, I add locally made chorizo and the best part, chicken-fennel sausage. Fennel is a wonderful herb that marries well with seafood. Paella is a beautiful dish with lots of color, aromas and flavor. I can’t wait for you to try it.
Wine Pairing: for Paella, try your favorite Sauvignon Blanc or any chilled white wine with enough acidity to balance the creaminess of this dish.
Mixed Paella for Two
By Chef Cal DeMercurio, C.E.C.
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
6 oz. Chicken Thigh Meat, diced medium
2 oz. Green and Red Bell Peppers, diced, ½ inch squared
4 pc.(2 each) Large Shrimp, thawed
4 oz. Fennel Sausage, sliced
4 oz. Chorizo Sausage, chopped
¼ tsp. Fennel Seed, whole
½ tsp. Paprika, smoked
1 tsp. Garlic, fresh, chopped fine
1 Tbsp. Shallots, fresh, chopped fine
2 oz. Mushrooms, quartered
2 oz. Sherry
6 oz. Arborio Rice (Risotto), rinsed
1 qt. Chicken Stock
Dash of Saffron
2 oz. Parmesan Cheese, shredded
4 oz. Heavy Cream
½ cup Tomatoes, fresh diced
¼ cup Peas, frozen/thawed or fresh/shelled/cooked
8 pc. (4 each) Manila Clams, fresh
4 oz. Meyer Lemon Aioli, reserve for garnish
1Tbsp. Cilantro, chopped, reserve for garnish
Heat medium sauté pan (preferrably a Paella pan) to medium hot. Add oil, chicken and bell peppers. Remove when ¾ cooked and add shrimp and sausages, garlic, shallots and fennel seed. Cook for two minutes until seafood ½ done. Add mushrooms, sherry and paprika, cook until mushrooms are tender. Remove all ingredients, reduce heat to medium, add Arborio rice and slowly add ½ of chicken stock. Continue adding more stock as the liquid is absorbed, until the rice becomes tender, about 20 minutes. Add saffron, parmesan and cream. Simmer one minute and add back pre-cooked proteins and tomatoes and peas. Heat throughout. Top with Manila clams and place in 350° oven until clams are cooked, about 6-7 minutes. Drizzle with aioli and sprinkle cilantro over top for garnish.