1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup (about 12 oz) Spanish chorizo, cut into small dice
1 poblano pepper, stem and seeds removed, cut into large dice
1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, cut into large dice
1 large shallot, peeled and cut into thin rings
6-8 ounces sofrito (recipe below)
4 ounces bomba rice
1 batch soffrito, see recipe below
2 teaspoons pimentón
2 cups chicken stock
2 duck eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
2 white onions, peeled and cut into medium dice
3 cloves garlic, chopped
8 ounces canned tomato sauce
2 cups water (plus more as needed)
9- or 10-inch paella pan
To make the soffrito:
Set a medium sized rondeau pot or dutch oven over low flame with the oil. Add the onions to the pan while it is still a little cool so they don’t burn right away. Continue cooking the onions slowly, stirring the pan often, and watching the moisture in the pan carefully. When the onion juices evaporate completely, replenish them with water, a little at a time, so that the onions don’t burn.
The key to sofrito is low and slow, cooking onions down to draw out their sweetness and caramelizing them over a long period of cooking time until they turn a deep brown. While doing this, they release a lot of their juices, which evaporate slowly, but you must replenish the pan with water once the juices are totally evaporated. The whole process takes about 1 hour, rendering the onions about as dark as a Hershey’s milk chocolate bar. At that point, add the tomatoes and garlic and cook another 2 minutes.
Transfer the cooked tomatoes and onions to a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.
To make the paella:
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Set your pan over low heat with the tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chorizo to the pan and let its fat render out for about 2 minutes, giving you some nice and spicy cooking fat to sweat everything else in.. Add the peppers and onions and cook until peppers are slightly tender and onions are golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Next, add the rice, sofrito and pimentón and toss everything to combine. Season with salt and cover with the chicken stock. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 12 minutes.
After 12 minutes most of the stock will have been absorbed by the rice. Remove from the oven and crack two duck eggs into the center of the pan. Season the egg with salt (at this point you can taste the rice for seasoning as well and adjust as necessary) and return the pan to the oven to just cook the eggs through to the point of perfect sunny side up with whites fully set and yolk just heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes more.
Remove the pan from the oven and set over a high flame to create your traditional “socarrat” or the crispy part of a perfect paella where the grains stick to the bottom of the pan creating a nice crust. You can go from perfect to burned quickly, so check by dipping the tip of a spoon through the rice to the bottom of the pan. Use the spoon to drag the pan towards you and away from you, if the spoon sticks well enough to make the pan move with it, you have yourself a socarrat. It only takes a little over a minute.
Garnish with the juice of 1 lemon and serve.
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