Paella is such a classic dish and one of my favorites. I love the flavor of saffron and shellfish mixed together. I would have it more often but I don’t like to eat a main dish that is primarily carbohydrates all that often. So I created this protein-rich, dish that has the “goodness” of paella with additional seasonings and vegetables that can be served as a stew on its own, or with some rice on the side. I find it satisfies my paella craving while balancing my diet needs.
I use with saffron with tarragon to make for a deeper flavor. Tarragon has a nice strong anise-like flavor, that can overpower if used in large amounts. In this recipe, the saffron has a mellowing effect on the tarragon and when combined with the juices of the shellfish, the flavors come together wonderfully.
For this recipe, as in mixed paella, I use chicken, shellfish and sausage. The sausage I use is a homemade (by someone else) organic chicken chorizo sausage that is made without nitrates. If you are gluten-free you might skip the sausage altogether. If you can’t get homemade sausage, you can use packaged pre-cooked sausage and skip the broiling part.
I think this dish will feed your paella cravings, if you get them. Though I must admit, I do still eat paella every so often as a splurge!
Chicken Seafood with Tarragon and Saffron Sauce
6 boneless and skinless chicken thighs (about 2.5 lbs)
6 large prawns or 12 medium sized shrimp – shelled and deveined; tails on
12 clams (cherrystone, little necks or whatever your preference)
1 lb of mussels
2 chicken chorizo sausages, fresh, uncooked, no nitrates
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon (1/8 cup) tarragon leaves, chopped
¼ teaspoon loosely packed saffron threads
2 garlic cloves chopped or grated using microplane
1 yellow onion halved then sliced thinly
1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
1 ½ lbs of green beans – VVV ends removed
1 red bell pepper – chopped, cored, seeded and cut into ¼ pieces
I bottle white wine
Line a baking sheet with foil. Place fresh sausages on the baking sheet and broil for 10 minutes. Slice into ¼ inch pieces when cool enough to handle
In Dutch oven, on a stove top over med-high heat, add two tablespoons canola oil. Pat chicken thighs with paper towels to remove moisture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. When oil is hot, add chicken thighs to pot and cook for 6 minutes – 3 on each side. Remove thighs to a resting plate. Add chopped onion, garlic, tarragon, saffron and salt to pot and sauté until softened… 5 minutes. Add red pepper and sauté for 1 more minute. Add ¼ cup of wine and start to deglaze the pot with a wooden spoon. I do this 4 times in total, each with a ¼ cup of wine. Then add the rest of the bottle of wine, chicken thighs, sausage and string beans to pot. Cover, lower heat to a simmer and cook 25 minutes. Then turn up the heat until a boil and add fresh clams, mussels and prawns to pot and cover and cook until shells open and prawns are opaque. If you your clams have harder shells like cherrystone, put them in the pot a few minutes before the mussels and prawns. Uncover and mix seafood, and chicken together in pot with sauce and string beans and serve.
Serve in bowls as is or over rice.