Dave entered the paella in the Dutch oven cookoff at the 2007 Nor Cal Boat, Sport and RV Show in Anderson, California. He walked away with first place in the main dish category. For the three-pot competition, Dave prepared German chocolate ice cream topped cake and cheddar sourdough bread for his other two dishes.
This recipe and others are found in Dave's cookbook, Cast Iron "Covered Wagon" Cookin' for Crowds in BIG Ovens. BIG Ovens is the fourth cookbook in a series of five dedicated to cooking in cast iron cookware. It's ideal for the outdoor cook who regularly cooks for groups of 20 or more.
"This book covers recipes for those outdoor cooks with a serious case of castironitis!" Most recipes are written for Maca branch deep Dutch ovens, including the massive 22-inch oven, which tips the scale at over 150 pounds and holds 45 quarts of food!
To purchase, contact Dave at The Official Cast Iron "Covered Wagon" Cookin' website. It costs $10 plus $5 shipping for the paper copy of the book. Discounts apply when purchasing multiple books. The cookbook can also be downloaded for the Cook'n Recipe Organizer software for $7.95. The software must be purchased separately.
|You can do paella in a Dutch oven lid or Dutch oven. Dave Herzog cooked this paella in the lid of a 20-inch Cabela's Dutch oven. The cast iron works for the Spanish dish without having to buy a paella pan.|
This recipe may be doubled by cooking in the 20-inch Dutch oven by using the oven right-side up.
In the intervening years, Dave has adjusted one or more ingredients. "I also now use 5 pound wing sections instead of chicken thighs," Dave wrote on Facebook. "The wings are easier to divide between people, even though I prefer the thigh meat." Substitute Mexican Chorizo if you can't locate Spanish chorizo.
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
12 chicken thighs
3 tablespoons Emeril’s Essence
2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 pounds Spanish chorizo, diced into 1/4-inch half moons
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups red bell peppers, chopped (about 2-3 peppers)
2 cups green bell peppers, chopped (about 2-3 peppers)
4 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons saffron threads
2 quarts chicken stock
1 quart medium grain rice
2 pounds jumbo shrimp, shells and tails on, back split
1 pound mussels, cleaned and de bearded
1 pound steamer clams, cleaned
2-1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
In a large mixing bowl or tub season the chicken with 2 tablespoons Emeril’s Essence and 2 teaspoons salt. Toss the thighs to cover with seasonings. Heat a 20-inch Cabela’s Dutch oven lid over a checkerboard pattern of charcoal briquettes. Add 1/4 cup oil to the lid. Once the oil starts to smoke cook the thighs on each side for 4 minutes per side to sear. Remove the chicken from the lid, and set aside.
Add remaining oil and chorizo and brown, stirring occasionally until well browned, about 7 minutes. Add onions and peppers. Continue cooking until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and saute 3 minutes, then add garlic and saffron. Spread this mixture evenly across the lid then place the chicken thighs across the top of the mixture in a single layer.
Pour about 1 quart stock into the lid or as much liquid it will hold without over flowing. Cover with bottom and add more stock as needed in 15 to 20 minute intervals, adding as much as possible without over flowing until all the broth is used up.
When the last of the broth is added, place the shrimp, mussels, and clams around the entire dish and cover. Cook 15 minutes, remove cover and sprinkle peas over the top, cover and remove from heat, let rest 7 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve from the lid on a lid trivet in the center of a table.
Serves 8 with two chicken thighs per person or 16 with one thigh each.
Recipe and photograph used with permission.