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Marinade for chicken breasts
I had precooked the chicken breasts that I used in the paella. I made a marinade of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, smoked paprika, Rosemary, salt and pepper. I baked the chicken in the sauce until done.
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 red pepper chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp of Spanish smoked paprika (penzeys makes a delicious one)
Pinch of saffron threads (if you have them)
1 tsp rosemary
Pinch of salt
4 cups Aneto broth “cooking base for seafood paella” (My aneto from Barcelona came in a 1 liter box.)
2 cups of paella rice (Calasparra, Bomba, or La Marjal, Arborio, or any other very absorbent , short-grain rice if you can’t find paella rice.)
Diced chicken breast (1 chicken breast, or as much as desired)
1 tilapia filet
10-12 large shrimp (or quantity as desired)
Parsley, lemon wedges (for garnish).
Paella pan (I used a 34cm San Ignacio Pan purchased in Spain. The bottom fit our 10” burner on our electric stovetop well and the induction coils on the bottom distributed the heat nicely so that all the rice cooked evenly.)
You will also need a lid for the pan, or aluminum foil.
Makes 6-8 generous servings.
For the paella, drizzle the olive oil in the pan. Heat on medium. Add red pepper, and garlic to the hot oil and sauté until soft. Add the paprika, saffron, and rosemary. Stir together to distribute the spices. Add the fish to the pan and sauté for a few minutes on both sides.
Add the broth to the pan. Add a touch of salt if desired. Stir the broth to distribute the flavors. Turn up the heat until the broth boils.
Add the paella rice to the broth. Stir gently to evenly distribute the rice around the pan.
Turn the heat down to low boil. Dice the chicken breast and distribute it evenly around the paella rice and broth. If you are using raw shrimp, gently lay the large shrimp in a pretty pattern around the pan. Do not stir the paella again. If you are using precooked shrimp, add the shrimp on top of the rice in the last 5-8 minutes of cooking.
Let the rice cook in the broth at a low boil/simmer until the broth is absorbed and the rice is fully cooked (about 25 minutes). Keep the pan covered with either the paella pan lid or aluminum foil. Monitor the cooking of the paella and adjust the heat to prevent it from burning. The paella is broth is absorbed into the cooked rice and the grains of rice are full and tender
Garnish with chopped parsley.
Serve warm with a slice of lemon and a dollop of alioli (Spanish Garlic Mayonnaise). You can purchase commercially-made alioli at the “fancier food markets” or make your own with just garlic and olive oil.
To make the Alioli you’ll want an immersion blender and garlic press.
3-4 cloves of garlic minced. (Or more if you prefer a stronger garlic flavor)
About 1 cup of olive oil. The exact amount will depend on how well the garlic mayonnaise binds and takes shape after it begins to emulsify.
Pinch of salt, if desired.
Use an immersion blender as this helps with the emulsification process. Put the minced garlic in the bottom of the cup that came with your blender ( or a tall cup that fits the blender). Blend the minced garlic with the pinch of salt to create a paste. Add a drop or two of olive oil to start the emulsification. Keep blending with the immersion blender , slowly moving the blender back and forth, side to side, as you add the olive oil drop by drop to the garlic mixture. As the two ingredients emulsify, a pretty white whipped garlic sauce will emerge. Do not add the oil too quickly or you will not get the proper whipped texture. You must add the olive oil drop by drop to build the “mayonnaise-like” fluffy consistency of the alioli and create the emulsion. Once the emulsification takes place, you can add the oil in a very thin stream and continue to blend until you reach a nice thick, whipped texture.
(If you try and fail to get the oil and garlic to emulsify, add a raw egg. This will act as a binding agent and help thicken the alioli. Just make sure to use a fresh egg.)
This Alioli is best used within 24 hrs. It’s great with paella, French fries, roasted potatoes, a dip for calamari or other fish. Yum!