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If the spectacular landscape and fabulous wines weren’t enough, throw in some culinary greatness just to top it off! (Here’s where the inspiration part comes in.) Dining at superb establishments such as Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, Bouchon and Bistro Sabor (a great little eclectic Latin cafe which we just happened to stumble upon) was certainly one of the highlights of my Napa Valley experience.
Michael Chiarello is certainly synonymous with Napa along with his restaurant Bottega. He along with others in the area are known to serve up a phenomenal Spanish dish called Paella. Known to many as Spain’s national dish there are several variations of the recipe but because, dear sisters, we’re all busy and want good food fast, I’m giving you my version of this wonderfully tasty (yet easy) dish!
Note: Here’s a great wine pairing (because you deserve it!)…Darioush Viognier, or your favorite clean white wine will do too!
1 red pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 tbs olive oil
16 oz. can stewed tomatoes
14 oz. can chicken broth
1 cup water
2 cups basmati rice, uncooked
1 tsp smoked paprika
pinch of saffron threads
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small pkg of frozen peas
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 lb fully cooked smoked sausage, kielbasa or chorizo (pick your fave!), cut into 1 inch slices.
S & P
Salt and pepper the chicken and brown in a large dutch oven with the preheated olive oil. Remove chicken to a plate and add the pepper and onion to the hot pan and saute until soft (about 10 min.). Add the garlic the last 2 minutes, so it doesn’t burn. Remove from pot and add to chicken that’s standing by.
In the same pot, add the tomatoes (along with its juices), chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Add the paprika and saffron along with the rice and stir. Add the chicken/veggie mixture and the sausage, cover tightly and simmer on low for 30-35 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is fully cooked.
Add the frozen peas and shrimp, pushing them towards the bottom of the pot and cook and additional 5-10 minutes until the shrimp are pink and cooked.
Dish it up and enjoy!