When we moved to our first house we had the craziest, most awesome next door neighbour. One who I will forever call friend. Tracie is the friend who always had whatever you needed. It’s the middle of the night but you needed a barbeque lighter, she had 6 extra. Our girls call her T and she is very special to them. When we decided to move, moving away from her was the hardest part, but no worries she stayed close.
On Friday’s we would have after work drinks where she introduced me to the world of martini’s. My fave to this day is the Femme Fatale (cranberry, vodka, blue curacao and triple sec) delish! Only one though, strong stuff.
Another favourite of hers is her fall paella. She would make it every year and it was sooooo good, so I’m sharing it with you!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 large leek, white and tender green parts only, halved lengthwise
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 12 boneless chicken thighs, with skin
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 10 ounces chorizo or other spicy cured sausage, cut 1/4 inch thick
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups Spanish Valencia rice (I used basmati because that’s all I had)
- 3 1/2 cups hot chicken stock
- One 14 1/2-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 1/2 pound Swiss chard, stems discarded, leaves coarsely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 425°. Brush the leek with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and arrange on 1 side of a large baking sheet, cut side down. On the other side, toss the squash with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes, or until golden and just tender. Cut the leek into 1-inch lengths.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 14- to 16-inch paella pan or skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper; cook over moderate heat until golden, 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the onion and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan; cook over low heat until softened. Add the chorizo, saffron and cayenne; cook over moderately high heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the rice and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock, tomatoes, chard, leek and squash.
- Nestle the chicken into the rice, skin side up. Simmer the paella over low heat for 5 minutes. Transfer to a 350° oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the stock is absorbed, the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the oven and cover with a towel; let stand for 10 minutes. Serve at once.
Dinner was also enjoyed with homemade baguette! Made it with my father-in-law, Bill.
Now that we live so far away from all our friends, including Tracie, she’s one of these friends I don’t have to talk to everyday, but when we do talk it’s like we saw each other yesterday. Our conversations may be a bit longer with just catching up, but we will continue to be great friends.
Thanks T for everything, including this awesome dish!
Thanks for looking!
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