A new favorite dish from our Better Homes and Gardens Wedding Cookbook:
Chicken and Sausage Paella
If you don't have saffron, one of the world's most expensive spices, substitute turmeric, an economical and equally delicious alternative.
• 2 1/2 to 3 pounds meaty chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, and drumsticks), skinned
• 1 tablespoon cooking oil
• 8 ounces cooked smoked turkey sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced
• 1 large onion, sliced
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoons snipped fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme, crushed
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/8 teaspoon thread saffron or 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
• 1/2 cup water
• 2 cups chopped tomatoes
• 2 medium yellow or green sweet peppers, cut into thin bite-size strips (1 1/2 cups)
• 1 cup frozen peas
• 3 cups hot cooked rice or one 5-ounce package saffron-flavored yellow rice mix, cooked according to package directions
1. In a large skillet brown chicken pieces, half at a time, in hot oil. Drain off fat. In a 3 1/2- or 4-quart crockery cooker place chicken pieces, turkey sausage, and onion. Sprinkle with garlic, dried thyme (if using), black pepper, and saffron. Pour broth and water over all.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Add the tomatoes, sweet peppers, peas, and fresh thyme (if using) to the cooker. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve over rice.
Honestly, this isn't an actual paella, but who has a paella pan and a stove big enough to cook it on? This is like a thick, hearty soup that comes close to tasting like paella. But it's SO good!!! If you add a little more chicken, and a little more rice, you can actually raise the servings to 8. The picture in the book looks way better than mine, but then again, it actually showed whole pieces of chicken left over, which just doesn't happen, but it's so good as it falls apart. Also, you have to use the saffron rice -- it just adds so much! (Although you might want to cut corners with the tomatoes, as I used canned, diced and it was just as tasty.) You can try adding other types of meat/seafood, but you need a pretty large crockpot to put it in. So, just add some hot, crusty bread and you're good to go. YUM!