Pork and Chicken Paella Verde
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 6 poblano peppers
- 2 serrano chilies
- 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, outer husks removed, washed if sticky
- Olive oil
- 1/2 pound Spanish chorizo, 1/2-inch dice
- 1 1/2 pounds St. Louis pork ribs, cut into individual ribs
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs, skin off, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups sweet onion, from 1 whole onion, 1/4 inch diced
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, 1/4 inch diced
- 3 cups Spanish bomba rice (use short grain rice as a substitute)
- 1 1/2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 limes, zested
- 1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
Drizzle the poblanos, serrano chilies and tomatillos with olive oil and place directly over an open flame. Toast until the skins are charred and black all over – about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Once well charred, remove from flame and place the chilies in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to steam for 2 to 3 minutes.
In the meantime, put tomatillos in a food processor and set aside. Once the chilies in the bowl have cooled slightly, scrape away the charred skins.
Remove the stems and seeds, and rough chop. Add to food processor with the tomatillos and puree until smooth – about 2 minutes. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Trim the pork ribs of any excess fat and cube the chicken thighs into large bite-sized pieces – about 1 1/2-inch cubes.
Season the pork and chicken with cumin, salt and pepper.
In paella pan (or large sauté pan) over medium-high heat add 1 tablespoon olive oil and chopped Spanish chorizo and allow to crisp and render the fat.
Remove from the pan to a baking sheet and add the seasoned pork ribs and chicken thighs to the paella pan.
Cook until the pork and chicken is golden brown – about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the pieces of meat over and cook until browned – about 5 to 7 minutes.
Remove from the pan and reserve on the baking sheet with the crisp chorizo.
Add the onions and red bell pepper and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the minced garlic and bomba rice, and mix well until all the grains of the rice are coated with the oil. Cook for about 5 to 6 minutes until rice smells ‘nutty’.
Add half of the chicken broth, half of the pureed chilies and tomatillos and stir well to combine.
Evenly spread the rice around the pan so it is level and turn the chicken pieces so they are all skin side up. Once the chicken stock has absorbed, after about 10 minutes, add the remaining chicken stock.
Once bubbling, cover with foil and transfer to the oven to finish cooking until the rice is al dente, about 20 to 25 minutes.
When ready to serve, remove foil, dollop with remaining verde mixture, sprinkle with lime zest and chopped cilantro.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings