Sunday, September 02, 2007

Chicken Artichoke Paella with Maitake Mushrooms

Copyright 2007 by Cooking With The Single Guy

6 oz. chicken thighs, cut into chunks
2 large fresh artichokes
3 oz. Maitake mushrooms, cut into pieces
3 small tomatoes
1 cup Bomba paella rice
1.5 cup chicken broth
1 garlic, minced
1 t pimenton or smoked paprika
1 t salt
1 t saffron
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T butter

Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and set aside.

Prepare your tomatoes by peeling and seeding them, and cutting into small chunks. Then set aside. Work on your artichoke next. Remove the outer leaves and cut stems and then remove the inner leaves of the choke. Then cut the heart into pieces. Place in a bowl of cold water with a squeeze of lemon.

Warm butter in a paella pan or large skillet and then add chicken to brown. Cook over medium high heat, about 2 minutes on both sides for nice brown color. Remove chicken and set aside.

In same paella pan, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat and add garlic. Brown slightly for a few seconds and then add tomatoes and artichoke pieces. Add broth and season with pimenton, saffron and salt. Then sprinkle rice into your broth mixture and use a wooden spoon to even out the rice in the pan. Don’t touch the rice any more, allowing it to cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes.

Five minutes into cooking your paella, start adding the other ingredients. For the maitake mushrooms, in a separate saute pan, cook the mushrooms with a pinch of salt and olive oil over medium heat to bring out some moisture. When ready, add to the paella pan with chicken, placing around pan to nestle into the rice. Loosely cover your pan with newspaper or aluminum foil until rice is ready.

Remove from heat and let set for about five minutes. Garnish with cilantro or flat leaf parsley and serve warm.

Makes 2 servings. Serve with small green salad.

Pair with a nice red wine from Spain such as a Monastrell.

TIP: A good sign of paella is the crunchy bottom called sacarrat. This doesn’t mean burnt rice, but just a brown, crispy part that gives an extra texture to your paella. Sometimes this will just occur naturally as you don’t disturb the rice. But if you feel there’s too much moisture, you can increase the heat at the last two minutes of cooking to attempt to create the sacarrat.

BOMBA IS THE BOMB: Bomba rice is the premium paella rice from Valencia, Spain. But you can also find some bags simply labeled paella rice. Just make sure it’s from Valencia, the home of the paella. If you’re desperate, you can replace with arborio rice, which is the rice for Italian risotto, but your paella may be more creamy that typical paella.

SKINNING TOMATOES: To prepare your tomatoes, get a pot of water boiling and then drop your tomatoes into the hot water for about a minute. Then transfer immediately to a bowl of cold water with ice cubes. Let sit for another minute and then remove and dry off excess water. Then you can easily peel off the outer skin of the tomatoes. Cut into cubes and remove the seeds as well.

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