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Oven-Baked Paella

This recipe is first appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of Culinaire Magazine courtesy Chef Meiko Pennock of Willow Park Wine & Spirits.

Dating back to the early 1800s, classic paella consists of saffron-scented rice cooked in a shallow skillet with rabbit, chicken, snails (yes, snails!) and three types of beans.


These days, tinkering with the recipe and adding your own flair seems to be inherent in the culture of paella. The key to making a perfect paella is perfecting your socarrat (the crusty, nearly burnt, layer of rice at the bottom of the pan) so enticing that your guests will keep reaching for more. The trick? Don’t be tempted to keep stirring up the rice. Once cooked, let it cling to the bottom of the pan and wait for the magic to happen.

Chef Meiko Pennock takes a less traditional approach to making paella, but elevates the dish with ingredients like fire-roasted tomatoes. She cooks and seasons each component separately, and then combines them at the last moment to serve a large number of guests.


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