Paella, Filipino Style for Christmas or Noche Buena

My daughter Lauren was dying to cook paella for our Christmas Eve dinner over 10 years ago. I bought all the ingredients in the morning but I wanted to cook it already while the seafood was still fresh. My recipe for paella is one where I can pre-cook everything and place it on the pyrex dish for baking at a later time. It made sense to prepare it now then bake it just before Christmas dinner. I can’t be hassled with cooking just before the Noche Buena.

Paella, Filipino style
Paella, Filipino style

Here is my Paella, Filipino Style recipe. Nothing fancy, My daughter assisted me with the cooking.

Ingredients
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 cup malagkit (glutinous) rice – (optional. or Japanese rice)
1 cup ordinary rice
2 minced onions
1/2 kilo chicken , cut in serving pieces
4 chorizo Filipino (or Chorizo Bilbao), sliced 1/2 inch thick diagonally
1/2 kilo big shrimps
3 alimasag
1/4 kilo squid, sliced into rings
1 cup clams
1/2 cup tahong
1 hard boiled egg, sliced

Sauce
Prepare sauce before cooking procedure

1 can tomato paste
1 small can tomato juice
4 tablespoon sugar
1 tablesoon fine salt
1 tsp pepper
2 big red bell pepper , sliced 1/4 strips

Procedure

1. Cook 1 cup rice and 1 cup malagkit rice (you can remove malagkit rice and just 2 cups regular rice). Set aside.
2. Saute garlic in oil . Add 2 minced onions and cook until very soft.
3. Add chicken, chorizo Filipino and cook until brown.
4. Add shrimps (unpeeled), 3 small alimasag (whole); squid, halaan or tahong.
5. Continue stirring 5 minutes
6. Add prepared sauce and simmer for a while.
7. Carefully remove chicken, etcetera from sauce (Use Slotted spoon) and transfer to a platter. You can leave a few seafoods with the sauce.
8. To the sauce, add the rice. Mix well.
If too wet, cook over low fire a few minutes more.
9. Top with chicken , shrimps, etc that you set aside in step 7.
10. Decorate with hard-boiled eggs, green peas just before serving (after baking it)
11. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.

I remember the first time I baked this Paella. It was during the baptism of my daughter, Lauren. I wanted a simple celebration with home-cooked meals. I prepared the paella a day before the baptism celebration then placed the dish in the freezer. The next day, I baked it. Look at Lauren and I now, twenty years later still cooking the same paella dish.