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Betsy Block

Chicken and Mushroom Paella


by Jos Andres of Washington, D.C.'s Jaleo

Taken from Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 chicken legs, cut into small pieces (this is where I went wrong - pieces not small enough. Learn from my mistake ...)

1/2 pound fresh wild mushrooms

3 ounces green beans cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped (about 1 tbsp.)

2 tablespoons chopped jamon serrano (Spanish cured ham)

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup sofrito

1 quart chicken stock

1 pinch saffron threads

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon salt

1 1/2 cups Spanish Bomba or Calasparra rice (neither of which I could find) or Arborio rice


Heat the olive oil in a pan over high heat. Add the chicken and saute until it is very brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Add the mushrooms to the pan and saute until they are golden, about 3 minutes. Add the green beans and the garlic, and cook for 3 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan, along with the pan.

Pour in the white wine and cook until it is reduced by half, about 1 minute. Add the sofrito and cook for 3 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Crush the saffron and add it to the pan, along with the bay leaf. Season with the salt. (The chef says to make sure it's just a little salty, because when you add the rice, the dish will balance itself out.)

Add the rice, taking care to spread it evenly around the pan. Cook for 5 minutes on a high flame, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. You'll see the rice floating around the pan. If it's not, add an extra 1/2 cup of stock or water.

Reduce the heat to low and cook at a slow boil for 10 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Never put your finger or a spoon into the paella during this cooking, or the rice will cook unevenly.

Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for 3 minutes. The stock should be absorbed by the rice and there should be a nice shine to the top of the paella. Serve immediately.