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Cuban Paella Recipe

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This recipe for Cuban Paella, by , is from Moffitt Employee Cookbook, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Theresa Alvarez, Basic Science Immunology
Added: Monday, September 22, 2008


1/2 cup olive oil (more or less)
1 cup of diced ham
1 cup of chorizo sausage, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 1/2 cups large onion, diced
1 1/2 cups green bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups red bell pepper, chopped
6 garlic cloves minced
3 1/2 cups of parboiled rice
4 cups of chicken broth
3/4 cup red wine
Bijol powder – dash (found in the Latin spice section of supermarkets)
4 cans smoked clams or oysters with oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 pounds medium raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 1/2 pound scallops
1/2 pound crabmeat, fresh or frozen leg sections cut in pieces
4-8 Medium Lobster tails, meat removed from shell
and cut in bite-size pieces
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 red or green bell pepper sliced and used as a garnish
1 cup of green peas frozen
Fresh clams or mussels in the shell (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a LARGE pan. Sauté the ham and chorizo sausage (Use only Spanish chorizo!) This will draw the oil from the chorizo and flavor the pan. Remove chorizo and ham and set aside.

Drop the onion, green pepper, and red pepper in the remaining oil and cook until the onions are translucent. Add garlic and sauté briefly. In a large covered pot, add the broth, wine, smoked clams/oysters, onion/pepper mixture and Bijol powder.

Fry chicken pieces in the remaining oil, until browned on both sides. Remove chicken and set aside.

Add the chicken, ham, chorizo, and rice to your pot. You should now have everything in the pot EXCEPT the shrimp, lobster, scallops, and crab meat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer on the stove for 30 to 40 minutes, until the rice is fully cooked. (The rice should be a little wet, but not soupy at this point.)

While the rice is cooking, you need to sauté all of the seafood. It's important that the olive oil be "seasoned" with the chorizo, so sauté a few additional chorizo links as needed to give your oil a distinct pink appearance. Sauté the seafood in small batches. Don't overcrowd the pan!

Carefully remove the lobster meat from the tails, keeping the shells whole so that we can use them for a garnish. We also like to cut up the lobster meat to give everyone a chance at tasting this delicious treat!

When sautéing the seafood, you want to undercook it just a bit. Shrimp and lobster will be pink; scallops will become white and less translucent. Crab meat is usually pre-cooked, so a quick turn in the chorizo flavored oil is all that's necessary to give it that extra flavor. Remove each batch as you go and keep the seafood covered and warm so that it does not dry out.

If you have fresh clams and/or mussels, now is a good time to steam them in a little water and wine until they open. We like to use a New Zealand green shell mussel, which comes precooked and frozen on the half shell. We simply steam them in a covered saucepan just until heated through.

OK, the rice mixture is now completely cooked and all of the seafood has been sautéed.

Now gently fold the seafood into the rice mixture. Then spoon everything into a round flat pan suitable for serving. (We like to use a brown cazuela, a round terra cotta dish that makes a nice presentation.) Garnish the top of the dish with crab leg sections, frozen green peas, lobster tail shells, slices of green or red bell pepper, clams, and mussels (in the shell.)

Once you've assembled the paella in the cazuela, place the dish in a preheated 350ºF oven for five minutes only, just long enough to meld the flavors and heat through. Do not overcook!

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