Paella is a Valencian rice dish that originated in its modern form in the mid-19th century near lake Albufera, a lagoon in Valencia, on the east coast of Spain. Many non-Spaniards view paella as Spain's national dish, but most Spaniards consider it to be a regional Valencian dish. Valencians, in turn, regard paella as one of their identifying symbols.
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 fresh hot Italian sausages
12 chicken thighs with skin and bones, excess fat trimmed
2 large onions, chopped
10 garlic cloves, chopped, plus 1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups tomatoes, chopped
2 bay leaves
4 medium zucchini, halved crosswise, then quartered lengthwise
3 red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch-wide strips
1 1/2 pounds uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
1/8 plus 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
2 1/2 cups arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons paprika
Chopped fresh parsley
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large shallow pot over medium-high heat. Add sausages and sauté until cooked through, turning often, about 10 minutes. Transfer to large bowl.
- Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add chicken, skin side down, to pot. Cover and cook until brown, about 6 minutes. Turn chicken over, cover and cook until brown and cooked through, about 8 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to bowl with sausages.
- Add onions and 10 chopped garlic cloves to pot; sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes and bay leaves; stir 2 minutes. Stir in zucchini and bell peppers. Transfer to another large bowl.
- Toss shrimp with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 1 minced garlic clove and 1/8 teaspoon of saffron in medium bowl.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Brush one 18 x 12 x 2 1/4-inch roasting pan with olive oil.
- Mix rice and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt into vegetable mixture. Spread rice mixture evenly in prepared pan. Cut sausages diagonally into 1-inch slices. Using wooden spoon, push sausage and chicken pieces into rice mixture; pour any juices from bowl over.
- Bring 5 cups chicken broth, paprika and remaining 1/4 teaspoon saffron to boil in medium saucepan. Pour evenly over rice mixture.
- Cover roasting pan tightly with foil. Bake until rice is almost tender, about 40 minutes.
- Sprinkle shrimp mixture with salt and pepper. Arrange atop rice mixture. Cover pan with foil; bake until shrimp are opaque in center, rice is tender and most of liquid in pan is absorbed, about 20 minutes longer. Sprinkle with parsley. Spoon paella onto plates and serve.
Makes 10 servings.