Uncle Alphonso’s No-Fuss Paella
Today I’m doing laundry, folding clothes, and plumping pillows in the guest room for dear friends who are coming for an end of year visit. Then it will be back into the kitchen to make and remake recipes for book three, which is coming along nicely. 🙂 As New Year’s is almost upon us, I thought I would share with you the recipe for Uncle Alphonso’s No-Fuss Paella from Home Cooking with Kate McDermott.
I learned to make this from my dear friend Renée, who I have known all my life. Our parents were best of friends in Santa Barbara, and her dad was my godfather, too. Renée lived in Spain for many years, and learned to make paella from her husband’s Uncle Alphonso, the spelling of which she gently suggests I might see if can be corrected to Alfonso in the next printing of the book. 😉
It truly is an easy to make recipe and one that anyone can do, and a wonderful and festive addition to the New Years table. Whether you spell it Uncle Alphonso or Tio Alfonso, I hope you will like this as much as my family has for decades! Thank you Renée and thank you Tio Alfonso!
UNCLE ALPHONSO'S NO-FUSS PAELLA
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) olive oil
- 1 whole chicken cut in pieces, or 2 1/2 to 3 pounds (1 to 1.3 kg) chicken thighs—skin on will brown best
- 6 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 green pepper chopped
- 1 or 2 large ripe tomatoes chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or dried parsley
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 1 good-sized pinch saffron about 20 strands (mash a little with the back of a spoon)
- 1 cup (130 g) peas, fresh or frozen
- 1/2 cup (120 g) pitted black or green olives
- 2 cups (400 g) white rice uncooked
- 5 cups (1.2 l) chicken stock
- 1 pound (450 g) prawns or large shrimp of your choice, peeled and deveined shrimp (optional)
- In a large cast-iron skillet or pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the chicken pieces for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until light golden brown. Remove from pan, drain on paper towels, or put in strainer to let the extra oil drip through. Set aside.
- Turn the heat to low under the pan, add more olive oil if needed, add the garlic and onion, and sauté for about 5 minutes until the onion is brown on the edges. Stir occasionally.
- Add green pepper, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomato, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the parsley, salt, mashed saffron, peas, and olives, and stir gently to mix.
- Stir in the rice and stock. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to simmer, cook for 15 minutes.
- Add pieces of chicken, and optional shrimp. Continue cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the shrimp over occasionally, or bury them deeper into the rice. Add more chicken stock as needed.
- When the rice is soft and the liquid is absorbed, the paella is ready.