Marilyn says "There are many variations, using different meats and fish.
The Herrera Family traditionally enjoys this colorful and festive dish on
Christmas Eve. It is best served with a tossed salad, sour dough rolls and
6 Cherrystone clams
1/2 pounds sausage (country)
1 1/2 -2 chicken, cut into pieces
2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 lemons, cut in wedges
Fish: Small pieces of cod, shrimp, crap claws or mussels (pork) can be
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped (small pieces) onion
1 to 2 cloves garlic minced
2 to 3 large tomatoes, grated
Pinch crushed red pepper
3 cups long grain rice
6 cups boiling water
1 small can baby peas (or frozen)
Fish: Clean fish, scrub mussels and clams. Set aside fish on a separate
Sausage: Place the sausage in a pan, prick in several places with the
point of the knife. Add enough water to cover completely. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, simmer uncovered about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towel. When
fairly cool, slice them in 1/4" rounds.
Chicken: Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with 1 teaspoon salt
and pepper. In a heavy skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over high heat until
a light haze forms above it. Add chicken, skin side down and brown it well,
turning pieces with tongs. As pieces become a rich golden brown, remove them
onto a plate. Sprinkle the pieces with paprika as you put them on the plate.
"Sofrito": Discard all the fat remaining in the skillet and its place add
the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. Heat until haze forms. Add onions, minced
garlic and grated tomatoes (mashed tomatoes, cut up pulp and skins),stirring
constantly. Add a pinch of the crushed peppers. It should thicken slightly.
Assembly: In a paella pan (may use a wok pan, skillet or large casserole at
least 14 inch in diameter, 3inch deep) combine the sofrito, rice, 1 teaspoon
salt and a pinch of saffron. Pour boiling water over mixture, stirring
constantly. Taste for seasoning. Arrange chicken, fish, sausage, etc. on
top of rice. Bake about 1 hour 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed
by the rice and the grains are tender, not too soft. Scatter peas over
paella the last 5 - 10 minutes before removing it from the oven. When done,
remove and let rest several minutes ( 5-10 min.) before serving. Top with
Suggestions for preparation:
** Any kind of fish may be used. Fresh fish and clams are best.
** Country sausage is the most tasty and not too spicy for use in the
** Use all pieces of chicken, except for neck, liver, heart, etc. Cutoff
excess fatty tissue. After browning, sprinkle with paprika. This helps for
coloring the rice when the paella is baking.
** The "sofrito" mixture is easy to prepare ahead of time. Chop onions, put
into a bowl. Grate tomatoes over bowl of onions. Then chop tomato skins and
add to bowl. Add red pepper - not too much- a little goes a long way!
** The paella should not be stirred once in the oven. 8 to 10 servings.
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