When we want to pair wine with a great dish that can be shared with many friends, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We cook Paella! And we do it with a Chicken Chorizo Paella recipe from Kitchen Window in Uptown Minneapolis.
Nothing says traditional Spain more than Paella. Paella is a saffron flavored rice dish that has fresh goodness and the meat of your choice in it. This evening, we used chorizo and chicken. Typically, you can add steamed mussels over it, crab legs, shrimp or any shell fish for that added explosion of flavor.
For this blog entry, I’m simply going to share the entire recipe with you and give Kitchen Window all the credit, then I’ll walk you through our experience. See below!
We started the evening with a soft Brie, grapes and artisan bread. You can’t lose with a quick filler when the main dish will require time, love and patience 🙂
Next up, wash your veggies… this expandable sink strainer is really a good kitchen tool because it can adjust its size to fit sinks or large bowls and it drips dry. Must have.
Next, I chopped up our vegetables – julian the Red Peppers and Zucchini’s, cut the ends off of your Snap Peas, diagonally slice your Leeks and chop the Onion, Garlic and Chorizo.
A key item that you MUST have to make this dish is a Paella pan. We got ours at Kitchen Window in Uptown Minneapolis (along with our recipe). Paella pans can come in pretty big sizes, in fact you can rent one about 5 feet in circumference to feed an army of family and friends. Ours covers about three quarters of our 5 burner cook top so its pretty good size for 5 – 8..
Fire this puppy up on low heat and get your oils nice and toasty. We like to drop in our garlic and onions, then spread them around and let them caramelize and release their fragrance for a while.
Add your Chorizo and let the flavors percolate…
Meanwhile, measure out your chicken stock, and your dry spices.
Lastly, you add the key ingredient in this cultural crock pot – Saffron. Now Saffron is expensive…in fact the most expensive spice by weight. It is obtained from the stigmas of the Crocus Flower. Only about 5-7 lbs of Saffron can be harvested from an acre of land – hand harvested. A cup of Saffron, depending on the grade can range from $80 to $150.
We recommend taking a long weekend in South Asia where you can buy it for $2.00 a bag, like we have here.
In the mean time, we’ve got chicken breasts slow roasting on the grille outside with olive oil, salt and pepper. When finished, you simply want to cut them into chunks to add to the dish later.
Like a fine risotto or sushi roll, every great rice dish has its own rice. You must find Paella rice for this dish. It is key…
Once the rice has slow cooked in the Chorizo, onion and garlicky olive oil mixture, you begin to add canned tomatoes, chicken stock mixture and mix well.
Roast up some almonds in a pan, then add them to your mixture once the rice is cooked. All of your fresh vegetables can follow along with your cut up chicken.
On to the most important part of the evening…
WINE PAIRING – We paired up three wines for the evening which all were under recomendation of our wine experts at South Lyndale Liquors, for the Paella. Pictured below from left to right is:
– Dominos Dostares Estay 2010
– Vasse Felix Chardonnay 2011
– Gaba Do Xil Mencia Valdeorras
Biodynamic! Have we mentioned we love Mencia? A distinctive, delicious, mouthwatering variety. One of the world’s most diverse food-pairing partners. Buy it at South Lyndale Liquors.
The two that specifically were ear marked for the meal are the
Vasse Felix Chardonnay
An excellent Chardonnay- complex aromas and flavors combining apple, citrus, and pear fruit with mildly toasty oak and mineral. Great focus with just a bit of flesh to it. Excellent.
Dominio Dostares Estay 2010
Beautiful deep garnet-red color with purple glints. Clear and bright. Intense fruity nose of fresh red fruit with floral notes and spicy hints of fine oak coming through. Round, fresh and well-balanced with a lingering finish. Perfect for Paella!
Set the mood lighting..
SALUD !! From our family to yours.. South Lyndale Liquors.