Paella in a Wok

Adapted from Taste by David Rosengarten

Serves 6 as a main course

Paella (IPA: [pa’eʎa]) is a Spanish dish usually cooked outside over a hot fire in a large shallow paella pan. For years I avoided this dish because of the special equipment needed.
Then about 10 years ago I ran into this recipe in David Rosengarten’s book Taste. I tried it and my family and I were hooked.
What makes this recipe so special that you make it on the stove top in a large wok. I have made a few changes to the original recipe. For example, I left out the snails. If you like snails, add in about 12 large snails with the shrimp.
Also, I have added mussels to the mix. Find the recipe for Mussels in Beer here. I fix the mussels in a separate Dutch oven and add a few to the dish at the end and server the remainder on the side.
This dish takes some work but it is well worth it. The presentation is wonderful and the taste is out of this world.

Recipe follows.

Ingredients
1 pound medium-sized shrimp
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized chunks
4 ounces chorizo sausage or any other spicy sausage, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
4 medium garlic cloves, chopped
4 ounces fresh green beans, cut in 1/2-inch lengths
1 1/4 cups short-grain rice like Italian arborio rice
2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped and divided into two 1/4-cup portions
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1 teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika
1 large red pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded
2 pounds of cooked mussels, recipe here (optional)

Directions

  1. About an hour before dinner time, clean and devain the shrimp. You can leave the shell on if you like. I take it off.
  2. Rinse the shrimp well, put in a medium bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Place shrimp in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  4. Have everything else ready to go because paella is like a slow stir fry and you will be adding the ingredients one after the other as you go along.
  5. Thirty minutes before dinner, place a large wok with a tight fitting lid (if you do not have a lid (I don’t) you can cover the wok with a lid made from heavy-duty aluminum foil) and heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  6. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the chicken and add them to the wok.
  7. Cook chicken for about three minutes, turning over to cook all sides.
  8. Add the chorizo and toss with the chicken.
  9. Cook about one minute.
  10. Add the shallots, garlic, and green beans. Mix well.
  11. Add the rice and 1/4 cup of parsley. Stir to coat the rice will with the oil.
  12. Add chicken stock, saffron and paprika. Stir well to combine.
  13. Bring mixture to a boil.
  14. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the wok.
  15. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  16. Lift the cover and embed the shrimp in the top part of the rice.
  17. Cut the roasted and cleaned red pepper into slices and place around the shrimp.
  18. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes.
  19. Make sure the shrimp are cooked. Then remove the cover, add in some of the mussels, if you are using
  20. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup parsley over the whole dish and serve in the wok.
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