Koukou, you may not like to hear this, but saffron from Marrakech is in my eyes already very suspicious. Believe me, I know Marocco. Chances that it's genuine saffron, may be tiny. But, it may certainly be the very real stuff after all. Don't blame your friend if it's not what it says, Maroccans can be a little commercially creative every now and then.
Paella is made of round rice, mostly "bomba" variety, cutivated in the region of Spanish Valencia. It's perfectly interchangeble (all spanish readers; look elsewhere please) with Italian Arborio or even better, Carnaroli. Bomba may be not so easy to find.
About your choise of ingredients; some will have to go.
- shallots; preferably white onion instead. Shallots are too fancy.
- garlic; yes
- chorizo; yes, if it's the spanish one, no if Mexican stuff.
- chicken thighs; yes, split in drumstick and thigh if whole legs
- vermouth; no, there's no booz in paella
- tomato paste or fresh tomato; fresh tomato in summertime, otherwise canned chopped tomatoes without the juice
- green bell pepper; no, turns khaki when cooking. Better red pepper
- shrimp; yes, and, in their shells
- clams; no, too fancy for paella, do replace with fresh mussels
- saffron; a pinch of threads
Some green peas are a must.
Cook the chicken for 45-60 minutes in your oven first until golden brown and all done. Just to play safe.
Ratio's; 1 coffeecup of rice per person. Double of that chickenstock + 20% reserve. Please, do measure! For example; four persons need 4 cups of rice and 8 cups of chickenstock. But, do use 10 cups of stock, you better have some reserve at hand.
Start by putting a good pinch of saffron in your chickenstock and put to a slight simmer. If the broth doesn't color yellow/red in 30 seconds and doesn't smell of saffron,... right, read the first paragraph again.
You need a wide pan of course. Start on medium-low fire by putting in a good lot of olive oil and fry the chopped onions, garlic and red bell pepper until slightly colored. Push to one side of the pan. Now add the rice and fold over to coat all rice with oil and to get it a little translucent. Now add the stock in one time (keep the 20% reserve, just in case). The rice should be covered entirely. You can lay 2 sheets of aluminiumfoil loosely over the preparation.
The whole thing will now be ready in approximately 20 minutes!! BTW, NO stirring like in risotto! Spanish men will even try to kiss you if the rice is a bit stuck at the bottom of the pan! Very, very wanted over there; I mean the stuck rice of course!
At 15 minutes cooking time (taste rice for doneness first!!!); add the tomatoes, add the raw shrimp, add the raw mussels, add the cooked chicken, add the chorizo. To make it Spanish, add also a good handful of peas (frozen are OK).
When mussels are opened, the whole dish is ready. Put some lemonwedges on it too and a sprinkle of chopped parcely for color.
Wack the whole pan Spanish-style on your table. Olé! Que aproveche!