James Beard Award-winning chef Jamie Bissonnette of Toro restaurants in NYC and Boston shared his paella recipe that will be featured during Valentine’s celebrations at Toro NYC. If you can’t make it there, the next best idea is to grab a bottle of Ribera del Duero or Rueda (or both!) and treat someone special to this paella at home! Get romantic with the recipe below:
Toro Paella Mixta, serves 4-5
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 cup Spanish onions, diced and sautéed in a generous amount of olive oil
1/2 cup scallions, white parts only, diced
1 cup sliced Spanish chorizo
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup chicken breast or thigh meat
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 cups Calasparra or Bomba rice
10 threads of saffron
Canned Spanish seafood conserva (optional)
1 1/2 cups lobster stock (any combination of chicken, vegetable, lobster or shrimp stock will work)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
6 to 10 top neck or count neck clams
4 to 5 shrimp
1/2 cup English peas
Olive oil, 1/4 cup sliced scallion tops, and lemon wedges for garnish
Combine garlic, sautéed onions, white scallions, chorizo, red pepper, salt and black pepper to taste in a 17-18″ paella pan and sauté over high heat for 4 to 5 minutes. If you don’t have a paella pan, use a shallow copper or enamel coated steel pan (important to create the socarrat — or crust of crispy rice that develops on the bottom of the pan).
Add the chicken, tomato paste, rice and saffron, and stir, making sure to evenly coat the rice. Toast for 4 to 5 minutes. Add a can of conserva, if using. Evenly distribute and flatten out rice in pan.
Add all stocks. This should be the last time you stir the paella. Once boiling, add the clams and cook 5 to 10 minutes, until they open and rice grains are clearly visible.
Add mussels, and reduce heat to medium. Once the mussels open, add shrimp and peas. Cook over medium heat until shrimp and rice are cooked and have created a crispy bottom called “socarrat,” watching and smelling closely for burning.
Add small amounts of stock as necessary during cooking if all the liquid has evaporated and paella looks dry. Start to finish cooking time is approximately 30 minutes, 20 minutes to cook after adding stocks to chicken/rice mixture. Texture of rice when done should be soft on the outside but retain some bite/texture in the center. The rice on the bottom will be crispier (socarrat) from sitting on the bottom of the pan. Let the dish rest about 5 minutes before serving.
Garnish with olive oil, scallion tops, and lemon slices.
Pair with an unoaked Rueda Verdejo or a fruit-forward Ribera del Duero Joven.