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I've always been wary of Paella. In Spanish II we learned that it was full of (gasp!) seafood – slimy, tentacle-y, non-beef seafood. For a Cave Girl from Kansas – where seafood must be shipped bajillions of miles from the ocean to my plate – seafood never charmed me.
I'm working on it.
Imagine my glee when I realized that Paella is more of a catch-all dish and open to interpretation. Any meat that's available is prime for Paella, (same general rule for this Sausage Stew) and it's simple to make this Primal-friendly by subbing riced cauliflower for traditional rice. Just a few tweaks to the cooking process and you have a seriously amazing dish.
The one ingredient that's absolutely vital to Paella is Saffron. Saffron is delicate, aromatic threads that add color and a warm flavor to this dish.
Seriously. This was good.
1 head cauliflower, riced in the food processor (as in this post)
Several pieces of chicken breast, cut into chunks
Several spicy/hot sausages, cut into chunks
4 Tbs. lard, coconut oil, or ghee (a highly saturated fat is best for cooking; ghee is appropriate IF you include dairy)
1/2 Tbs crushed red pepper flakes (more or less depending on your HOT tolerance)
Dash of Thyme
1 Tsp. Saffron Threads
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small onion, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
1 red and 1 green pepper, chopped
1 c. cooked green peas
Vegetable broth (I like Pacific Naturals – the ingredient list is 100% crap-free)
Cook the chicken in a skillet in a few Tbs. oil, lard or ghee over medium-ish heat. Set aside and discard any excess water in the skillet.
Next, cook the sausage in the same skillet. Don't worry about scraping up some remnants from the previous tenant. Set aside with the chicken.
Now add the remaining oil, lard or ghee to the empty skillet. Add onion, garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute for a few minutes over medium heat. Add carrots and peppers, stir and cover – cook until the carrots are somewhat softened; approximately 5 minutes.
Now add the peas, riced cauliflower and saffron, a splash of broth, and a dash of thyme. If you're feeling VERY Cooky (not to be confused with “Kooky,” as in, Lady Gaga) you can heat up the broth and steep the Saffron in it for about 15 minutes before adding to the mix. The Saffron won't dissolve completely due to the shorter cook time for the cauli-rice, but it's still completely delicious and doesn't take away from the recipe.
Mix and allow flavors to meld for a few minutes at medium heat – unlike traditional paella, where the rice is allowed to simmer for much longer, the cauliflower rice is best when cooked only a few minutes.
Add garlic salt and black pepper, if desired, and enjoy while reading the latest Paleo literature.
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