Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chicken and Sausage Paella

This isn't a traditional Paella dish, but is more of a family friendly version that is also very adaptable to your own tastes. It's pretty good, but needs your own personal touch to make it wonderful. For me, I would add more heat to it, possibly some seafood, and more bell pepper because I love the spicy/sweet combination. Have fun with this dish and make it your own wild creation!

Chicken and Sausage Paella
(adapted from familyfun. com)

2 T olive oil, divided
1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste
16 oz (1 lb) sausage: Chorizo (which is classic in Paella dishes) or Kielbasa (which is less spicy), cut into half moon slices
1 small onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
2 cups medium-grain rice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (start with a small amount and adjust to your taste or can omit)
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of saffron
1 cup seeded and chopped tomato (or use small diced canned tomato, drained)
4 cups chicken stock or broth
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 1 T oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until done, about 5 minutes, then remove to a bowl and set aside.

Add the sausage to the skillet and saute it for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned. Then remove to same bowl as chicken.

Reduce heat to medium. Drain the oil/fat from the skillet and then add the remaining 1 T of oil to the skillet. Add the onion, red pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, for about 4-5 minutes. Then add the rice, peas, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and saffron. Stir and cook rice mixture for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and then add the chicken and sausage to the rice mixture and stir to combine.

Transfer rice/meat mixture to a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Scatter the diced tomato over the top. Carefully pour the chicken stock over the meat and rice.

Lightly tent some foil over the dish (you want steam to escape--I just lightly set the foil on the top without sealing the edges).

Bake for 30-40 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Let the paella cool for a few minutes before serving. This will serve 6-8. Enjoy!

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