The main ingredients in a sofrito are onions, garlic, bell peppers — sound familiar? — and tomato, which are cooked down until sweet and caramelized. We used cured chorizo, which is traditional in paellas, but fresh chorizo will add more flavor. Think of it like jambalaya, which is made with Andouille, versus dirty rice made with ground meat and livers.
The Garlic Issue
2 tablespoons smoked paprika, separated
1 pound chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Marciante’s Spanish Chorizo Sausages, thickly sliced
1 pound Rouses Green Onion Smoked Sausage
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Spanish onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
Bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, reserve some for garnish
1 (10-ounce) can ROTEL Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies, drained
4 cups arborio or bomba rice, or other short-grained rice
6 cups water, warm
Generous pinch saffron threads, turmeric or Maggi All Purpose Seasoning
1 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
1 pound jumbo Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 teaspoons oregano, separated1/2 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed
Lemon wedges, for serving
Combine 1 tablespoon paprika and 2 teaspoons oregano in a small bowl. Rub the spice mix all over the chicken. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or seal in an airtight container. Refrigerate seasoned chicken for 1 hour.
Heat olive oil in a paella pan over medium-high heat. Saute the chorizo until browned; remove and reserve. Saute the sausage until browned; remove and reserve. Add the chicken and brown on all sides, turning with tongs. Add salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove from pan and reserve.
In the same pan, saute the onions, garlic, and parsley in olive oil. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes on medium heat. Then add the tomatoes to make a sofrito, and cook until the mixture caramelizes a bit and the flavors meld. Add the chorizo, smoked sausage and chicken. Fold in the rice and saffron and stir-fry to coat the grains. Pour in water and simmer for 10 minutes, gently moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid. Add the clams and shrimp, tucking them into the rice. Give the paella a good shake and let it simmer, without stirring, until the seafood is cooked and rice is al dente, for about 15 minutes. When the paella is cooked and the rice looks fluffy and moist, turn the heat up for 40 to 80 seconds, until you can smell the rice toast at the bottom.
Remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with peas, parsley and lemon wedges.