Valencian Paella

The classic dish of Spain (pronounced pie-A-ya) goes with green salad, garlic French bread, and, of course, wine, although you might try a good amber beer like the superb Mexican Dos Equis, but not too cold, or the local Steam Beer if available.

Steam Beer, a naturally carbonated brew (like champagne) was born during the Gold Rush, when San Francisco's temperate clime made it possible to brew a special beer without ice. One of the very few American beers worthy of the name, it is now available in bottles on the West Coast.

Ingredients

  • 2 onions, chopped coarsely
  • 6 large mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 green pepper, chopped coarsely
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 frying chicken, cut into serving pieces Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 hot Spanish sausages
  • cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon saffron
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • cups raw rice
  • 2 large tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 sliced canned pimentoes
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 pound raw prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 1 small can artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup very hot clam broth
  • 1 pound clams in their shells

Method

Presoak a clay pot, top and bottom, in water for 15 minutes.

Saute the onions, mushrooms, green pepper, and garlic in the olive oil until the onions turn golden brown, then remove from the oil and set aside. In the same frying pan, brown the chicken parts on all sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside, then brown the cut-up sausage and set aside.

Add the chicken broth to the frying pan, bring to a boil, and add the paprika, basil, oregano, and saffron (diluted in ¼ cup hot water and crushed in a mortar). When the boiling point is reached, add the rice, stir, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the onion-mushroom-pepper mixture, tomatoes, 2 teaspoons salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper, then place in the bottom of the pot. Add the sausages, pimento, capers, prawns, and artichoke hearts and mix well, then top with the chicken parts and the very hot clam broth.

Cover the pot and place it in a cold oven.

Set the oven temperature at 480 degrees.

Cook for 35 minutes. Meanwhile, scrub the clams thoroughly under cold running water.

When the 35 minutes is up, remove the pot from the oven and add the clams. Return the covered pot to the oven and cook an additional 15 minutes.

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