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      RECIPE TITLE "Chicken Paella Perdue" from The Perdue Chicken Cookbook, Copyright © Mitzi Perdue

    yields Serves 6 to 8 time---difficultyeasy

    This is the Perdue version of the traditional paella. The authentic Spanish version takes all day to make -a I've watched cooks in Spain do it. You'll notice that the saffron in this paella is optional. That's because the last time I looked at the price for it in the spice jars in the supermarket, I calculated that saffron costs more than gold dust. However, you only need to use a couple of strands of it at a time so it's not totally out of line. If you can't find it or don't want to use it, this recipe will still taste good - just different. It will also look different because saffron imparts an attractive yellow to the rice. Incidentally, the reason saffron costs so much is that it's made from the dried stigma of the saffron crocus and it takes 225,000 stigmas to make a pound of saffron.

      RECIPE INGREDIENTS

    • 1 chicken, cut in serving pieces
    • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
    • 1 small clove garlic, minced
    • 8 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted, divided
    • 2 cups quick-cooking rice, uncooked
    • 1/4 cup chopped onion
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 tablespoon minced, fresh parsley
    • 1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning
    • 2-3 filaments teaspoon saffron (optional)
    • 1/2 cup fresh or 1 can (8-ounces) minced, soft shell clams
    • 2 tablespoons clam juice
    • 1 cup canned chicken broth
    • 1/2 pound backfin crabmeat
    • 1 cup peas
    • 1 dozen small clams (on the half-shell)
    • 1 package (9 ounces) frozen artichokes, cooked
    • 1 jar (2 ounces) pimento strips

      RECIPE METHOD

    Preheat oven to 350degrees Farenight. Place chicken in single layer, skin side up, in shallow baking dish; season with salt, pepper and garlic. Pour 4 tablespoons of the butter or margarine over chicken; cover and bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through, uncovering during last 20 minutes for browning. While chicken is baking, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt remaining butter. Add the uncooked rice and onions and saute until lightly browned. Add paprika, parsley, seafood seasoning, saffron, minced clams, clam juice and chicken broth. Simmer over very low heat for 15 minutes. In the shallow baking dish, leave 2/3 of the chicken; add the rice mixture, the crabmeat and peas in layers. As garnish, place on top of this, the remaining chicken, all of the clams in the half-shell, cooked artichokes and pimento. Cover and bake at 350degrees Farenight for 10-15 minutes to heat through.


    HOT! We recommend:

    Delicioso!: The Regional Cooking of Spain Spain might seem like neighboring suburbs thanks to this author's wonderful culinary introduction to each of Spain's seven regions. Sidebars delight and inform about such topics as the saltiness of salt cod, the anonymity of Spanish sherry wine vinegar, the diversity of gazpacho, and the versatility of the tortilla-cum-potato omelet. Readers will find more than 400 simple but authentic dishes to re-create.


     

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