We enjoy breaking from tradition and cooking all manner of dishes in a paella pan, swapping out rice for beans, tiny pasta or hominy. This “paella” is Spanish-leaning with a Southern accent, built on Lady Cream peas and starring rabbit--a lean, flavorful, sustainable protein that is most undersung in our estimation.
For the shopping list
whole rabbit cut into eighths (boned out loins cut in two and four whole legs; kidneys and heart optional) - sub 6 chicken thighs
spicy, dried Spanish chorizo, sliced into coins
radishes, halved or quartered
ripe tomatoes, halved and grated on a box grater, skins discarded
rainbow chard, stems removed and finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped
Mustard flowers or other edible flower (optional)
From our shop
$6 - New Orleans - Louisiana
cooked al dente and lightly seasoned - sub Lady Cream Peas
$25 - Valdepeñas - Spain
$13 - Boonville - California
From the kitchen
18" Paella Pan or Large Skillet (at least 12")
Season rabbit or chicken meat liberally with sea salt and dust with Piment d’Espelette. In an 18” paella pan or large cast iron pan sear the rabbit pieces until browned on all sides. Remove and set aside. Sear the chorizo on both sides until just beginning to crisp then remove and set aside.
Add the onion and carrot and saute until beginning to caramelize. Add radishes and chard stems and saute until tender. Season with sea salt. Add the tomato pulp and cook until nearly dry. Add the white wine and cook for 1-2 minutes to cook off the alcohol.
Scoop in the cooked peas along with enough of their liquor to just cover peas, stirring gently to combine. Tuck in rabbit pieces and chorizo and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes, adding more bean liquor or water as needed to cook the rabbit through.
Reduce to a nice, thick stew-like consistency. Taste and season with salt if needed. When nearly finished scatter with chard leaves to just wilt and remove pan from heat to rest for 5-10 minutes. Drizzle with excellent olive oil, flaky salt and a good squeeze of lemon. Sprinkle with Piment d’Espelette and garnish with mustard flowers. Enjoy!
-To reduce cooking time, soak peas overnight.
-The rabbit is delicious in this dish, but if you can’t find rabbit, substitute 6 chicken thighs instead.
-We cooked this dish in an 18” paella pan over the fire, but it can alternately be cooked in a large skillet (at least 12”) or on the stovetop.