A few weeks ago I felt like making a paella, but one without seafood. I eat seafood but do not generally go for fishy soups and stews. Remembering a sort of paella that I had at a Portuguese restaurant about 15 years ago I set out to make a no seafood paella, with chicken and sausage instead. It took a bit longer to make than I had anticipated as the rice took a while to soak up the liquids, but the result was delicious. This seems to be a one dish meal. No sides are needed, nor can I think of a side that would go well with it, save perhaps a simple salad.
Served 5 people, with leftovers
4-5 Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, roughly cut
1 Portuguese sausage, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1-2 Green bell pepper, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped parsley, chopped
2 1/2 cups arborio rice
6 cups chicken stock
1 Tbsp sweet paprika
1 15 oz can whole tomatoes
1 pinch saffron threads
Preparation and Cooking
Preheat a wide paella pan (or widest frying pan you have) on medium-high. Add oil to pan and brown the Portuguese sausage on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside. Brown the chicken on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside. Turn the heat own to medium. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic, and parsley to pan. Add tomatoes, crushing them as you put them in the pan, and pour in the juices.
Add saffron and paprika. Stir and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add rice and stir it in well to coat the grains, about 3 minutes. Add 4 cups chicken stock. Simmer, occasionally stirring lightly for the first 10 minutes or so. Add chicken stock as the water is absorbed by the rice. When the liquid is nearly all absorbed taste the rice to see if it is done. It should preferably be al dente at this point as the rice will cook a little longer.
Return the chicken and sausage to the pan and tuck it into the rice, being careful to keep the rice submerged under any stock in the pan. When the rice is ready and all the liquid has been absorbed add the remaining parsley and stir in lightly. Turn off the heat and serve at the table.
If you like seafood and want to add some to this dish there are a couple of changes you can make:
– Use fish stock instead on chicken stock.
– Add a couple of 1/2″ to 1″ thick pieces of your preferred fish to the pan and tuck into the rice while you are soaking up the broth, about 20 minutes before done.
– Add some shrimp over the dish.
– In any case you might find it helpful to cover the pan for 5-10 minutes with a lid or foil to allow the added seafood to steam cook.