I hope everyone had a spectacular Turkey day. I was too busy eating so I unfortunately don't have any photos of the spread. *sadface* And I'm still recovering from my food coma. As for the actual turkey, I've never been too crazy about it the day of but I do love the leftovers. Aside from the always glorious post-Thanksgiving sandwich, the possibilities for the turkey are endless: soups, chilies, stir fries, casseroles, etc.
A paella is a little like a casserole in the sense that it is often served in the same vessel it's cooked in. I've adapted this paella recipe for leftover turkey but leftover roast chicken would work just as well. This recipe is made in a 6 quart Dutch oven because I don't have a paella pan nor do I have a open fire of orange branches and pine cones so I did the cooking in the oven.
Leftover Turkey and Seafood Paella
1 cup chicken or turkey stock
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
1 pound seafood of choice or a mixture of shrimp, peeled and deveined, scallops, or squid
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
8 or 9 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (2 generous tablespoons)
3 to 4 cups leftover turkey, coarsely shredded or chopped
8 ounces Spanish chorizo (can sub fresh chorizo or Portugese linguiça), sliced in half lengthwise then cut into 1/2 inch thick crescents on the bias
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups Valencia or Arborio rice or another short grain rice
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 cup dry white wine
2 dried bay leaf
Salt and ground black pepper
1 dozen or so mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 C chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the turkey broth in a small saucepan or in the microwave until hot and steaming but not boiling. Add the crumbled saffron to bloom and set aside.
Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering but not smoking. Add the pepper strips, stirring occasionally, and cook about 3 to 4 minutes or until the skin starts to blister and turn spotty black. Transfer the pepper to a small plate and set aside.
Turn the heat down to medium. Add 2 teaspoons of oil in the now empty Dutch oven and cook the chorizo until it starts to brown and fat begins to render, about 4 - 5 minutes. Add the onions and cook until the onions are soft, 3 - 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then add the rice and stir until the Dutch oven contents are evenly mixed. Add the drained and chopped tomatoes, white wine, turkey stock and saffron mixture, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper and bring to boil stirring occasionally.
Cover the pot and transfer the pot to the oven and cook until the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid, about 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove the pot from the oven, mix in the cooked leftover shredded turkey and shrimp. Arrange the mussels hinged-side down into the rice, arrange the bell peppers in a pinwheel pattern. Cover and return the pot to the oven and cook until shrimp are opaque and mussels are opened, about 10 minutes.
Scatter the peas on top, cover, and let the paella stand for 5 minutes. Discard any mussels that haven't opened. Sprinkle with parsley and arrange lemon slices on top or serve them separately.