Summertime in NYC is here! I want to bring seafood back to my blog during the season. I love risotto and I love paella, so why not combine the two? Ok seriously, I could not find Spanish short grain rice (Bomba Paella Rice) so I used the next best thing, Risotto. I also did not have a paella pan handy (I recommend one), so I used my 16 inch cast iron pan to get the job done. Enjoy!
6 chicken thighs (3 drumsticks & 3 thighs are also suitable)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 chorizo sausage, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1 large onion, small dice
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 15-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and crushed
4 cups Aborrio rice
7 cups water, warm
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed and rinsed well
1 dozen mussels, scrubbed, debearded, and rinsed well
1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined
3 lobster tails, split in half
1/2 cup sweet peas
salt and pepper, to taste
bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
Heat oil in a pan over high heat. Brown the chorizo, remove and put aside. Season chicken with salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, paprika, and brown on all sides. Remove from pan and reserve.
In the same pan, saute the onions, garlic, and parsley. Cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat. Add tomatoes and cook until the mixture caramelizes and the flavors blend together. Then add the rice and stir-fry to coat the grains. Pour in the the warm water and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring, so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid. Add chicken, chorizo, and saffron then simmer for 2-3 minutes. Then add the clams, mussels, and shrimp, tucking them into the rice. Give the paella a stir and let it simmer, without stirring, until the rice is cooked, for about 15 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, when the rice is filling the pan, tuck the lobster tails into the rice and add the peas. When the paella is cooked and the rice looks fluffy and moist, raise the heat until you can smell the rice toast at the bottom (the toasted rice is called “socarrat”) , then remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes and serve garnished with lemon wedges and parsley leaves. Bon Appetit!