Saturday, 5 January 2013

Pisto meets paella

Okay, so if you're Valencian, or even Spanish, my idea of "paella" might make you laugh, but I have it on the authority of numerous online recipes that chicken and chorizo paella is an actual thing. The Spanish would probably still be hesitant to dub it a paella mixta (mixed paella, rather than the traditional Valencian seafood paella), and even moreso given the fact that I have forgone the saffron and paprika (to be honest, that was just due to plain old forgetfulness!)

Nevertheless, at the same time that I was contemplating making my first paella, I was also researching other European recipes--rataouille, in specific. I've made the French vegetable dish before, but (most certainly because I did a poor job, and was not eating a dish made by a native of Nice), I felt something was lacking.

While researching ratatouille, I discovered that the Spaniards of La Mancha make a similar dish called pisto. There's not too much of a difference, except they frequently add poached or lightly fried eggs on top and manchego cheese.

Well, being North American, where our cuisine is all about fusing different cultural dishes together, I decided to make my own conflated dish called Pisto Paella. If you're Spanish, feel free to freak out in the comment box! I'm curious to find out what you think of this! Personally, although I did miss the saffron and paprika spices in the end, I quite loved it, and not only did it make a huge dish that will last for several days, it also provided me with a delicious spiced tomato vegetable soup! Quite an economical recipe.


1 package chorizo (remove the casing)
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 large can tomato sauce
3-4 skinned diced tomatoes
1 diced eggplant
2 diced zucchini
2 sliced red peppers
1 onion thickly sliced
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 chili (finely chopped)
1 cup coarsely chopped coriander
chicken stock
1 cup arborio rice

For the paella, sear the chorizo and chicken thighs in olive oil on medium-high heat. Put the meat in a stewing pot, then add half the tomato sauce and cover with chicken stock. Add the rice and put on low heat to simmer.

For the pisto, in a sautee pan, add some olive oil and then add the onions and garlic. Sautee until soft, but be careful not to burn the garlic. Once the onions are soft, add the rest of the veg. Then add the other half can of tomato sauce and a little chicken stock. Simmer till cooked, but not mushy.

Once the rice is tender and the meat is done, add the paella and pisto together in the stew pot. Drain excess liquid into a large tupperware container. Add some of the veg to the soup. You can store it in the fridge for a few days, or do what I did: divide it into meal sized containers and freeze for lunches. :)

Serve the pisto paella with a generous sprinkling of coarsely chopped coriander. And disfrute de su pisto paella!! Enjoy your pisto paella!

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