1 1/2 lb. lobster
1 lb. mussels
1/2 large fennel bulb
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into slender strips
1 large shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 c. Paella rice
1 c. wine
5 c. lobster stock
4 c. chicken broth
1/8 t. saffron
1/4 t. chopped tarragon
1 t. paprika
1 bay leaf
butter, carrot flowers , and sprigs of watercress or tarragon for garnish
Preheat oven to 350º.
Kill the lobster by inserting a large chef’s knife into its back, where the head meets the torso. Put in a pot with 2″ of water, cover the pot, and steam the lobster for 10 minutes. Remove from pot and let cool. When cool remove all the lobster meet from the shell, keeping the pieces as attractive as possible. Slice the tail meat into medallions. Keep the claws in one piece to use as the dramatic crown of the paella.
Put the lobster stock, wine, chicken broth, saffron, tarragon, bay leaf and paprika into a pot, bring to a simmer.
Cut the fennel bulb into a small.dice and simmer in the broth mixture until soft and translucent. Keep the broth and fennel mixture just at the simmer level.
Heat a 3 T. olive oil in a paella pan over medium heat until oil shimmers. Add the minced shallot and garlic, and cook, stirring, for a minute or two, until it softens. Do not brown. Add salt and pepper.
Add the rice to the hot oil, and cook and stir, to coat the rice. Cook over medium heat for a minute or two. Start adding the broth with fennel chunks one cup at a time, stirring well with each addition. In 8-10 minutes about half the broth mixture will be used up.
Add the lobster meat to the rice mixture. Place the mussels in a ring along the rim of the paella pan, hinges down. Fan out the red pepper slivers on the top of the rice, and place the claw meat in the center.
Pour the remaining broth mixture over the rice in the pan, careful not to spill over. If the mixture seems dry, add more liquid, either broth or water.
Use heavy duty aluminum foil to cover the entire paella pan tightly. Pull the foil taught and press it down so that there is no air between the rice and foil. SNUG!Seal well to prevent steam from escaping.
Place in the preheated 350º oven and cook for 20 minutes.
Remove pan from oven, let rest, still covered in the foil, for at least 5 minutes.
To serve carefully peel off the foil, so as to not disturb the smooth surface of the the rice embedded with pieces of lobster meat, fennel bits and red pepper strips.
Dot the hot rice with bits of butter, and garnish with carrot flowers and sprigs of herbs such as watercress or tarragon.Print This Post