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Chicken Paella

August 20, 2011
Chicken Paella Cooking demonstration

This is my 70th post!!! Ho-ray!! To celebrate, today I am going to do something out of the ordinary and share a recipe with you that is not my own. I attended a cooking demonstration a few weeks back at Catal Restaurant and Uva Bar (in Downtown Disney), and Executive Chef Nick Webber showed us how to make Chicken Paella. So I sat there sipping on red wine on the balcony of the restaurant and watched this meal come to life. I even made a video about it (link below). OMG you have no idea how amazing it was to be there- watching him cook this stuff- it was so cool! The garlic, paprika and onions smelled so strong and it tasted AMAZING too!

According to Wikipedia, paella is a Valencian and Spanish dish that was traditionally cooked by men over an open fire, fueled by orange and pine branches along with pine cones. Dinner guests traditionally eat directly out of the paella pan. Paella can be made with meat, seafood, vegetables, or all of the above. Over the centuries, the traditional ingredients of Paella have changed and merged and today you will always have a unique paella depending on each chef’s style.

This paella served about 15 people with some leftovers for our significant others, who were hungry and waiting at home (well at least mine was). At the end of the demonstration I was given a recipe from the chef at Catal Restaurant that makes a serving for two. It’s sooo good that I had to share.  You should make it and let me know how it turns out. All you need is a personal paella pan and a grill or stove!

You know what else you should really do is watch my video I made about this whole cooking demonstration! So here it is folks, my very own video, showing each step in making chicken paella and recapping this amazing cooking demonstration: Chicken Paella Video.  Prepare to drool.

Chicken Paella

Recipe from Catal Restaurant and Uva Bar

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Dasca rice (or Bomba or Arborio rice work too)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • Spanish Chorizo, sliced
  • Chicken thighs and legs
  • Chopped asparagus
  • Parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

To Do:

Heat the olive oil in a paella pan and brown the chicken on all sides. Remove and set aside.

Next, add the Chorizo and cook and set aside.

Add onions, garlic, peppers, saffron, and tomato and cook until translucent then add the cooked Chorizo.

Add the rice and paprika. Spread everything evenly around the pan.

Add the chicken and (hot) chicken stock.

Top with the chopped asparagus.

Cook at a medium heat, until the stock is fully absorbed by the rice. (Do not stir)

Garnish with parsley and garlic aioli.

A few tips:
As you will see in the video, the chef kept everything in the pan during the entire cooking process, and just added each new ingredient according to the time it needs to cook. With a smaller pan, it seems easier to cook the chicken and chorizo first, then add it to rest of the ingredients when ready.

Chef Nick Webber slow cooked the onions, peppers and tomatoes in advance when making a large serving. By making it this way, it’s called “Sofrito.” He said he prefers to do it that way so he can slow cook them for a couple hours and let the flavors blend.

Garlic Aioli is made with mayonnaise,  lemon juice and garlic.

To make it a little healthier use boneless skinless chicken breast. The chef advises against it though if you want the full flavor. The fat juices from the chicken skin help create the whole dish.

The chef told us about how he has one of these huge Paella pans at home and when he throws big birthday bashes for his kids, he makes paella outside on the grill for everyone. WANT!!!

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1 Comment

  • Reply belovedgreen August 22, 2011 at 7:27 am

    That big pan of chicken paella looks out of this world. And one massive pan, now I would love trying to cook with that in my kitchen!

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