Chef Kitty Morse’s Couscous Paella from her cookbook “Couscous: Fresh and Flavorful”. http://www.kittymorse.com
Moorish and Andalusian cultures reunite when couscous takes the place of rice in one of southern Spain’s most famous dishes. Omit the chicken and the seafood for a vegetarian paella.
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch strips
2 medium onions, finely diced
4 chicken legs
1 chicken sausage or turkey sausage, thinly sliced
One 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
10 threads Spanish saffron
3 garlic cloves, minced
12 littleneck clams, scrubbed
12 mussels, byssal threads removed
1 cup chicken or fish broth (see Note)
One 14 1/4-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen petite peas
8 medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 cup couscous
Lemon wedges for garnish
In a large skillet or paella pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the pepper strips. Cook,stirring, until tender, 3 to 4 to minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the strips to a small bowl. Cover and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. To the same skillet, add the onions. Cook, stirring until they wilt, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken legs. Cook,stirring, until lightly browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sausage, tomatoes, saffron, and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook until the chicken is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken legs to an ovenproof dish and keep warm in the oven. Keep the sausage-tomato mixture simmering on the stove.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over high heat, place the clams and the mussels. Cook, covered, until the shellfish open, 6 to 8 minutes. Discard any shellfish that do not open. With a slotted spoon, transfer the shellfish to a steamer or a colander set over gently simmering water, and keep warm.
Pour the shellfish cooking liquid into a large measuring container. Add enough broth to make 1 1/2 cups, and add liquid to the skillet. Add the artichoke hearts, peas, and shrimp. Cover and cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.
Sprinkle the couscous evenly over the dish. Remove from the heat. Cover and let stand until the couscous is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Using tongs, arrange the reserved chicken legs, shellfish, and pepper strips over the couscous. Garnish with lemon wedges.
Note: Fish bouillon cubes are available in Asian and Mexican markets.