The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans just announced that you don’t need to watch our cholesterol as closely as once thought (the previous recommendation was a maximum of 300 mg per day). As such, you don’t have to worry about eating delicious seafood like shrimp.
Skill level: Beginner
Start to Finish: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for garnish and to taste
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper, divided, plus more for garnish and to taste
3/4 teaspoon paprika, divided
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
3-4 small boneless chicken breasts or thighs (3/4-1 lb total), without skin
3/4 cup finely chopped sweet (Spanish) onion
1½ teaspoons minced garlic
1½ cups Arborio rice (I like Village Harvest)
1 cup crushed tomatoes
4 cups chicken or seafood stock
Juice of 1 whole Meyer lemon (3-4 tablespoons), plus more for finishing and garnish
Pinch of saffron (about 7-10 strands)
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1 large red pepper, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces (stem, seeds and membrane discarded)
1/2 lb peeled and de-veined shrimp, tails on or off
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
1. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 teaspoon each of salt, pepper and paprika. Set aside.
2. In a large, heavy bottom skillet with high sides and a top, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add chicken breasts (or thighs) and season with half of the salt/pepper/paprika mixture. Once the chicken starts to get a little bit of color on the underside, flip and season with the remaining salt/pepper/paprika mixture and cook until it gets a little bit of color on the other side. It should not be cooked all the way through. Transfer the chicken from a pan to a plate and set aside.
3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, then add the garlic and fry for about a minute.
4. Add the rice and sauté for about 30 seconds until the grains of rice become pearly (slightly shiny), then stir in crushed tomatoes, water or stock, lemon juice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, saffron and remaining 1/2 teaspoon paprika.
5. Cover the pan and cook until the rice has absorbed about half of the liquid, about 15-20 minutes. Do not stir!
6. Once the liquid has been about half way absorbed, remove the top (don't stir the rice! The crispy crust that the rice forms on the bottom of the pan is considered a delicacy.)
7. Add the peas and red pepper and gently fold them into the top layer of rice. Try not to disturb the rice at the bottom of the pan.
8. Place shrimp and chicken across the top of the rice and vegetables, sprinkle with one more pinch each of salt and pepper, and replace the cover. Cook about 10 minutes until the chicken has cooked through and the shrimp have turned pink and begun to curl up. Then, without removing the cover, turn off the flame and allow the remaining liquid and steam to finish cooking the dish. Check it after 5-10 minutes. You'll know it is done when the rice is tender, but not mushy. It should still have a very slight bite to it.
9. Taste and adjust seasonings (I like to finish it with another splash of fresh lemon juice from 1-2 lemon wedges), garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.
Nutrition Information (per serving)
Calories: 591; Total Fat: 19 grams; Saturated Fat: 3 grams; Protein: 51 grams: Carbohydrates: 54 grams; Sugar: 9 grams; Fiber: 4 grams; Cholesterol: 167 milligrams; Sodium: 719 milligrams
Recipe and photo by Nora Schlesinger of A Clean Bake.
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