Recipe by Emma Haberman
This delectable seafood paella is a regional Valencian dish, originating from the mid-19th century. Traditional Valencian paella consists of white rice, vegetables, meat (chicken, duck or rabbit), land snails and beans. Though the ingredients are interchangeable, the one necessity is that the bottom layer of rice must be toasted to form a crust, called socarrat. When cooked over an open flame, as traditional paella is, the socarrat forms naturally.
This paella includes seafood, chicken and hot sausage. Many paellas are made with chorizo yet hot turkey sausage to be an excellent low-cholesterol substitute. Pair with a nice crisp Verdejo wine and you have a dinner party in an hour.
Calories per serving: 436 per serving
Prep time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Total time: 1 hour
2 large links hot turkey sausage , casings removed
6 boneless chicken thighs
1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
1 cup Arborio rice
1 small onion , diced
2 garlic cloves , minced
½ cup canned diced tomatoes
1 red pepper , diced
1 cup water
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Pinch of saffron threads dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Season the chicken thighs generously with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan and cook chicken 2-3 minutes per side, or until nearly cooked through. Set aside chicken and let cool. Once the chicken is cool, chop or tear into bite-sized pieces. In a bowl, mix shrimp with parsley, 1 clove of garlic, salt and pepper. Let marinate in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
2. In a 10-inch paella pan or ovenproof skillet, cook the sausage over moderate heat in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, breaking it up with a spoon until it is browned. Add the onion, red pepper and remaining clove of garlic and cook over low heat, stirring until softened. Stir in the tomatoes, rice, saffron, cup of water and ½ cup of wine. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes until the rice is al dente and the liquid is absorbed.
3. Remove the skillet from heat. Stir the chicken into the rice, line the edge of the skillet with clams, and fill the remaining surface with the marinated shrimp. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of wine and the juice of ½ the lemon, cover the skillet and place in the oven. Let bake until the shrimp is pink and the clams have opened, about 8 minutes. If the clams take too long to open, let them steam on their own in 1-inch of boiling water and add them back to the rice.
4. Once the seafood is cooked, place the skillet on the stove on high heat for 45 seconds until you smell the rice toasting to create the socarrat. Squeeze remaining lemon juice, drizzle olive oil and serve.