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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Michele's Gigi's Quick Chicken Paella

I am starting a project today where I will cook and photograph a signature dish from my mentor and beloved friend Michele Wynn Gerhard of La Belle Cuisine! In the spirit of "Julie and Julia", I will feature one of her family recipes, once a week. (NOT 500+ in a year! LOL) We will feature these special segments both on Southern With A Twist and La Belle Cuisine! Michele is selecting the recipes for me, which was a daunting task for me... one I am glad she accepted to do for me. Michele has been such a blessing and mentor to me. Her guidance, advise and willingness to just listen to me has been such a blessing in my life! I hope you all will follow us on this journey and visit our blogs to keep up with the fun! She is starting me out on an easy one (she says) this week... Gigi's Quick Chicken Paella! (Click the link for her recipe)
Let's get cookin' Michele! :-) ♥ ♥ ♥
~ Lynn

I made sure that I had all my ingredients, which included the hubby stopping by the grocery store several nights on his way home! As in all undertakings that I try to pull off... I had no turmeric. I don't even know much about it,  because I have never used turmeric. I did research it and found out that you may be able to sub some dry mustard, but I had no dry mustard or saffron to even remotely try to substitute anything for it. Oops... well, continue!

I almost forgot the garlic... Can't forget the garlic.

The first step is to brown the sausage on medium. I had Italian sausage, which does tend to stick or fall apart. It started to stick and brown in the bottom of the pan, which does impart some yummy flavors.

I set the sausage aside, and browned the chicken in the drippings. However, I didn't brown it as long as I should have because I was afraid the sausage bits and drippings were getting a little too brown!

I took out the chicken and set it aside... onions and garlic were next!

I got a little excited and lost focus (no pun intended) on taking pictures. This is where I added the broth to the onions and garlic. That released all those little bits of brown goodness off the bottom! Oh! I added the rice, sausage, carrots back to the pot and topped with the chicken pieces. It simmered for about 20 minutes.

Next were the artichokes, which were jarred, not frozen, peas and black olives. I wish I had whole olives, but all I had was sliced... no biggy! :-) Back to simmer for another 20 minutes.

The final touch was adding the tomatoes and letting them heat through. Very colorful and very fragrant! I just wish I had a little more color on the chicken... I know! I am my own worst critic.

As I am writing this, (we ate  a couple of hours ago) the hubby is dipping  another helping out to sit down and snack on while watching tv... I guess it's a hit! :-)

The final plating!

Thanks to my friend Michele at La Belle Cuisine for agreeing to let me do this... and for helping me do this, risking her reputation! Only if you could be here to help me NOT mess it up! LOL

OH! And thanks for NOT starting me out on a baking recipe! LOLOLOLOL

Calphalon Triply Stainless Steel 5-Qt. Covered Dutch Oven (Google Affiliate Ad)


  1. Sounds great Lynn! Nice photography work too!
    A tip for next time the pan gets a little too dark, simply deglaze it and add to your pot , then continue on browning the meat :))

  2. Sugah Dumplin', you makin' me hongry for my mother's "quick paella"! Thank you sooooo much for doing this! And about that turmeric... I know it's one of those spices that most folks don't keep on hand. THe thing is that a real paella calls for saffron, which costs about a billion $ an ounce. Turmeric is often substituted since it gives the dish a similar color, but not exactly the same flavor. Thanks again for doing a super job! xoxoxo