In this episode of ITK: Family Style Holiday, Andrea joins her dad, Fernando, in the kitchen to make a Spanish-style unifying Thanksgiving dish of paella and explains how the recipe became a household tradition.
Andrea and Fernando explain that paella is a unifying dish that a whole group can make together. The two have been making the dish together for over twenty years and have served it for several family gatherings, including graduations, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day. As their family gatherings have grown, Fernando says he has continued to get larger and larger paella dishes to accommodate the growing crowd.
Andrea’s family recipe is often done pot-luck style, where everyone brings another ingredient to add to the dish. You can recreate their recipe for yourself with these instructions, sized to serve 80 people.
How to make arroz con todo (rice with everything) paella
½ cup of oil
4 Spanish chorizos
4 cups olives
3 white onions, diced small
2 red bell peppers, diced small
2 green bell peppers, diced small
2 pounds of button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
½ cup sofrito
½ cup panca chili paste
2 cans tomato puree
1 bottle of pinot grigio
2 pounds of bomba rice
7 quarts seafood or chicken stock
4 pounds of chicken thighs
4 pounds shrimp
3 pounds mussels
3.5 pounds dry-packed scallops
3 cups of peas
3 cups of shredded carrots
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chef’s note: Our paella is an arroz con todo; anything and everything can be added and mixed into the paella.
1. Start by rendering the Spanish chorizo over medium-high heat, then add olives, onions, bell peppers and mushrooms, making sure to continuously stir the ingredients until tender and lightly caramelized.
2. Add sofrito, chili paste and tomato puree. Stir to combine and cook for an additional three to four minutes before deglazing with white wine and cooking until all the wine has cooked off.
3. Add rice, then stir to combine. Add stock and bring to a simmer. Layer in the proteins, starting with the cooked chicken thighs, then shrimp, scallops and mussels.
4. Finish the paella with peas and shredded carrots. Cover with aluminum foil and cook undisturbed or medium-low heat for 18 to 20 minutes. Once the rice has fully absorbed the stock and the proteins are cooked through — uncover, mix and serve.
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