Chicken, Sausage and Monkfish Paella with Aioli and Maple Glazed Crispy Chicken Strips

This paella was delicious. It sounds very complicated, with such a long list of ingredients. However, all these ingredients are cooked in sequence in the same pan. You don't have to cook parts separately - which is often the case with a complex recipe. So it's not complicated at all.

The keys to this recipe are:
  • Adding the stock in stages
  • Maintaining enough heat to get a little crusty rice on the bottom of the pan
  • Ensuring that the rice is cooked to pleasant doneness (slightly al dente)
In this version of the recipe, the use of rich, authentic Spanish chorizo was also a major factor. It was the kind of chorizo that is cured, like an Italian salami, not loose, like a Mexican chorizo link. Since Spanish chorizo is hard to find (and expensice) you could substitute any chorizo you can find, other sausage or skip it. However, you may have to add or remove oil from the pan depending on your choice. Mexican chorizo will give off too much oil. Skip the sausage and you might need to add some olive oil.

The aioli can be made in a blender or hand whisked. I've not seen it paired with paella until I read an article about Jose Andres. WOW!! What a great complement to the already complex paella.

Over the top addition - the aioli already seems over the top, but I had just boned three whole chickens for stock and the paella, so had a lot of chicken skin available. So I made Crispy Chicken Skins with Maple Glaze, sliced them and added them to the paella (after the picture above was taken). Not bad.

2 garlic cloves, mashed with a small amount of kosher salt
1 egg yolk
4 teaspoons water
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup oil
     --- Combine all ingredients up to oil in a large bowl.
     --- Drizzle oil into bowl, whisking continuously
     --- Chill before serving


For a crowd of 8-10, double this recipe and make it in two separate pans.
3 cups or more of chicken stock is needed for each batch.

1/2 of a dried new mexico chile, or equivalent
     --- seed pepper and grind in a spice grinder

     --- Heat a paella pan or large skillet (12-14") over medium-high heat, optionally, over direct heat on a charcoal or gas grill (remove grates if you dare!!). If grilling, add soaked wood chips in a foil packet, pierced in several places with a fork.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large link Spanish Chorizo sausage
     --- Saute 3 minutes for sausage to release some oils
     --- Remove sausage and place in a large bowl

1 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound chicken, cut in to 1 inch pieces
     --- Saute 5 minutes, until chicken begins to brown
     --- Remove to a sausage bowl

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound mushrooms, mixed, chopped coarsely
     --- Saute 4-5 minutes
     --- Remove and add to chicken

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
     --- Saute 2-3 minutes

1/2 tablespoon olive oil, if needed
3/4 arborio rice
     --- stir to coat rice, 1 minute

1 cup fresh chicken stock
1/2 of a 28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
The dried, ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon saffron, crumbled
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
     --- Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes
     --- Add chicken, mushrooms, sausage and any liquid, simmer 10 minutes
3/4 cups stock
     --- Add and simmer 8 minutes
3/4 cup stock
     --- Add and simmer 8 minutes
1 pound monkfish, cut into 1" slices
     --- Combine into fish, cover and cook 3-5 minutes, until fish cooked through.
     --- Add more stock and continue to cook rice if needed

Some of the rice should stick to the bottom of the pan and form a browned crust. This is what the Spanish call "soffrito" - and is a prized component of paella.

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