Paella to me is the ultimate one pot meal. It also is the time of year where I am not ready for a stew but want something more substantial than the usual summer fare. Paella is a great answer. Although paella is considered Spanish I think this one is more Mediterranean. I use Italian sausages but fresh chorizo would be good, the important part is that the sausage isn’t dry cured or it would just be drier in this case. I also use arborio rice, but you could use the Spanish version of this as well.
2 bell peppers
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 chicken legs, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 Italian sausages
2 chicken thighs, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 onion, julienned
1 fennel bulb, tops trimmed, core removed and sliced very thinly
1/4 cup garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
3 1/2 cups warm water
pinch of saffron, crumbled
3 Roma tomatoes, cut in half from top to bottom, and grated, large whole of a box grater, leaving the skin behind
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups arborio rice
1 1/2 teaspoon aleppo pepper
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, minced
2 tablespoons green onions, sliced into thin rings
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- Sometime during the day or when ever you have time, turn a gas burner to high. If you don’t have a gas burner turn your oven to broil and place a rack at the highest level you can. Char the peppers, top, bottom and all on sides. The idea is to char or blacken the skin without cooking the pepper through.
- Place the peppers into a container with a lid. Set aside for at least 20 minutes. Crumble the saffron into the warm water.
- If you roasted them properly the skins will easily peel right off with out running them under water.
- Peel, seed and core the peppers and then julienne them into thick strips.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a 16 inch paella pan or a 14 inch saute pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and once it is hot add the chicken, skin side down, and then the sausages. Brown them thoroughly and then remove them to a plate. You do not want them to cook all the way through. They will finish cooking in the oven so you just want to brown them.
- Turn the heat to medium and add the onion and fennel. Season them with healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until they start to soften. Add the garlic, aleppo pepper and bay leaves, once fragrant add the white wine and grated tomatoes and cook for a minute or two letting the alcohol burn off. Add the saffron water and rice. Season again with a healthy pinch salt and pepper. Gently shake the pan to level out the rice. Place the chicken into the pan and arrange the red peppers around the chicken.
- Bring to a boil, place the pan into the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. Cut the sausages in half. Once the timer goes off add the sausages and place the pan back into the oven. Set the timer for 10 minutes.
- Once the timer goes off remove the pan from the oven and place a clean towel over the top. Let the dish rest for five minutes, remove the towel and garnish with parsley and green onions, then serve.