Cuban-style Paella: Paella Cubana
- 1/2 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for sauteing seafood
- 1 cup diced ham
- 1 cup chorizo sausage or pepperoni, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces (recommended: Spanish sausage)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (3-pound) chicken, cut into 6 to 8 pieces
- 3 cups Valencia rice
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 can mussels
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Bijol powder, a dash
- 1 pound medium raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
- 1/2 pound scallops
- 5 lobster tail meat, reserve shells for garnish
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 1/4 cup minced parsley leaves
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced for garnish
- 1 cup steamed mussels in their shells, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat olive oil in a large pan. Saute the ham and chorizo sausage. Remove from pan and reserve *Cook's Note: This will draw the oil from the chorizo and flavor the pan.
Add onions, red pepper, and garlic to pan and saute until wilted but not overcooked.
Add chicken pieces and saute for about 15 minutes until brown, but not fully cooked. Remove and reserve.
In a large pot combine the rice, broth, wine, and mussels. Add salt for flavor and Bijol for color. Stir. Turn up heat, bring to boil and cover. Add chicken, ham and chorizo. Cover and simmer on the stove for 20 to 30 minutes, until the rice is cooked and fluffy. (You may have to add a little more chicken broth if the mixture gets too dry).
Saute shrimp, clams, and lobster tails separately in the oil. Remove and keep covered and warm.
*Cook's note: This will keep it from drying out.
At the last minute, fold the seafood into the rice mixture. Transfer to a flat paella pan suitable for serving. Top with peas and red peppers. Place in oven for about 5 minutes to heat through. Take care not to overcook! Serve garnished with mussels, parsley and lobster shells.