Man, I sometimes forget how awesome this single pan meal can be. Last weekend I had some time to play around in the kitchen so I dug out my Paella pan and went to work.
The biggest hurdle for this dish is the prep it takes to throw it together just before you are ready to serve. That said, this is a dish that you can prep for in stages and the final presentation is spectacular.
The variations of meats and seafood you can throw into this are almost endless. I did a bastardized version of Paella Valencia.
Start with a soffritto of peppers, cilantro, onions, tomatoes and garlic. Brown your sausage and chicken and set aside. I took the soffritto, and four cups of rice and heated the mix in the Paella pan until it was starting to toast. Add six cups of broth and then layer in the chicken and sausage. Place this in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes then add the mussels, clams and shrimp and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. Pull the Paella pan and place on a gas burner and crank the heat up high for a couple of minutes. This will produce the the dish with a toasty brown carmelized rice on the bottom of the pan that the Spanish call socarrot. Toss the pan with some chopped green olives and some parsley just before you pour a Rioja and sit down for dinner.