Faux Paella with Chicken, Mussels and Clams


1/4 cup canola oil
Half an onion chopped finely (like a grain of cooked rice)
2 teaspoons saffron threads
2 cups short grain rice
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock

4 chicken thighs and 4 chicken drumsticks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Piment d’Espelette
Canola oil

1 Spanish chorizo sausage cut into 1/4 inch slices
12 small mussels
24 little neck clams
1/4 dry white wine

4 roasted piquillo peppers from a jar, cut into strips
1 cup blanched green beans and cut into 1 inch pieces

Chopped Italian flat leaf parsley to garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Heat the canola oil in a large oven proof saute pan over medium heat until hot.  Add the onions and a sprinkle of salt and reduce the heat to medium low and cook gently for 3 minutes.  Add the saffron.  Reduce the heat to very low and cook for another 2 minutes, careful not to brown the onions.  Add the rice and turn up the heat to medium, stirring the pan and cooking 1 to 2 minutes to toast the rice.

Add the stock to the pan and stir once, scraping the side of the pan if necessary.  Cover the rice with a piece of parchment paper with a whole cut in the middle.  Adjust the heat to cook the rice at a simmer for about 12 minutes or until the liquid is all absorbed.  Do not stir the rice.  You want it to develop a brown crust at the bottom of the pan.

When the rice is cooked, gently stir in the piquillo peppers and green beans.

Sprinkle the chicken with kosher salt and pepper and Piment d’Espelette on both sides.  Heat canola oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat.  Add the chicken skin side down and lower the heat to medium low.  Cook the chicken without moving for 8 minutes.  It will develop a nice crispy golden brown skin.  After 8 minutes, flip the chicken and continue to cook for another 6 minutes, or until golden brown on the other side as well.  Transfer the chicken pieces to the rice pan, arranging them on top of the rice.

Heat canola oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the chorizo and cook until well browned.  Transfer the chorizo to the rice pan along with the chicken.  Put the rice pan into the oven.

Pour off most of the chorizo fat from the sauce pan then add the white wine and and bring to a boil.  Add the mussels and clams and cover the pan, cooking until the shells have opened, about 3 minutes.

Remove the rice form the oven and arrange the mussels and clams on top.  Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and salt and serve.  Be sure to scrape up some of the brown crust from the bottom of the pan for each serving.


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