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First Paella-Almost there (pics)

I have really been looking forward to my first Paella on the BGE. First off, I borrowed my sisters Paellera. Sounds kinda crazy but it flooded me with thoughts as a child as the pan was actually from my parents and has probably not been used for 30+ years. I love it; it’s a Michael Lax Designs Copco and its all circa 1960’s.  

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I made to trip to the local Latin Grocery and got the short grain rice, saffron and fresh made Chorizos. So when I got ready to prep and cook I realized that I was missing a few ingredients so I made a few substitutions some worked some I will change. First off I had no fresh tomatoes so I used crushed canned (of all the things to not have jeez), I could not find Garbanzo beans so I substituted with habichuelas. All and all it made a nice Sofrito as you can see in the pic. I toasted the saffron and let it steep on my outside burner next to egg. It’s a fantastic aroma. Browned the chicken and combined the ingredients. Seemed to have everything on track

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So popped a brew and enjoyed the moment. When I next checked I got a little worried as I got a little burning on the sides and thought it would be similar on the bottom. BTW- I was cooking direct and had the dome temp pegged at 350. Anyway I missed getting a perfect soccarat but ended up leaving a small layer crusted to the pan (sorry no pic). It did taste awesome and it did get devoured but between us here…felt like hitting a long fly ball…almost there…

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What did I learn and what will I do differently. First off I wanted to follow a more traditional model but moving forward I think I will try to brown the chicken on the grate, I loved the Habichuelas and will use again. I think the smaller size works better as there are a lot of other ingredients competing for space and the flavor is finer (I know it’s a LATAM bean but…). I am also tempted to insert the plate setter and drop in a mild wood chunk in the last 30 minutes or so. I know the experts out there could help. I think part of this is also my paellera and just trying to make it work for me. Anyway, glad I did my first with chicken and will do a few more times before going with seafood. Also, down the road I will do a whole latin night with a 1905 salad, mojito’s & sangria and some Spanish cream. Love my green egg!

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