Brown Rice Paella

1 lb. shrimp (21/25 count), peeled and deveined
6 garlic colves, minced
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat and halved crosswise
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut lengthwise into 1/2″ wide strips
8 oz. Spanish chorizo or linguica, sliced 1/2″ thick on the bias
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained, minced, and drained again
2 cups long-grain brown rice
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
1 bay leaf
1 dozen mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
Chopped parsley
1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss shrimp with 1/4 t. salt, black pepper and 1 t. of the minced garlic. Set aside. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 t. of oil in a large Dutch oven an add red bell peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until their skins begin to blister and turn black. Transfer peppers to a small plate.

Add another teaspoon of oil to the pot and add the chicken pieces. Brown on both sides. Transfer to a bowl and add the chorizo to the now-empty pot. Cook until well-browned. Place in the bowl with the chicken.

Add the onion to the pot and cook until softened; stir in the remaining garlic. Stir in the tomatoes and cook about 3 minutes. Add the rice and coat it well with the tomato mixture. Stir in the chicken broth, wine, saffron, bay leaf and 1/2 t. salt. Bring to a boil, cover the pot and place in the oven.

Cook for 30 minutes. Remove the pot and add the chicken and chorizo, pushing them down into the rice mixture. Replace lid and transfer to oven. Cook another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and add the shrimp. Insert the mussels into the rice hinged-side down so that they stand upright; arrange the red bell peppers in a pinwheel pattern and scatter peas over top. Cover and return to oven and cook until shrimp are opaque and mussels have opened, about 12 minutes.

Allow paella to stand, covered, for several minutes. Discard any mussels that don’t open and remove bay leaf. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedges and hot sauce.

Serves: 6

8 Poodles