Think outside the sandwich

DINNER TONIGHT

This easy `paella' makes good use of your leftover turkey or chicken

December 15, 2004|By Carol Mighton Haddix | Carol Mighton Haddix,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

We all love sandwiches made from leftover turkey or chicken, but when they grow boring I often turn to other, perhaps more inspiring, dishes. A paella is one solution.

The traditional Spanish version includes seafood, sausage and chicken nestled in saffron rice. Here, I've speeded up the process by eliminating the sausage and seafood and using leftover turkey or chicken.

Tips

Spanish smoked paprika (pimenton; available in specialty or spice shops) works great in this dish, but Hungarian or regular paprika works well, too.

Look for chopped onions and peppers in the supermarket's produce aisle.

Turkey and Olive `Paella'

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes; cooking time: about 35 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 carton (7 ounces) chopped onions and bell peppers

1 1/2 cups short-grain rice

1 teaspoon smoked, hot or sweet paprika

2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads (optional)

freshly ground pepper

1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes

2 1/2 cups diced leftover turkey or chicken

1 jar (7 1/2 ounces) pitted Spanish green olives, coarsely chopped

1 cup leftover peas, chopped green beans or other vegetable (optional)

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat; add onions and peppers. Cook, stirring, until lightly colored, about 2 minutes.

Stir in rice and paprika. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add chicken broth, salt, saffron and black pepper to taste. Heat to a boil. Cover; reduce heat to simmer. Simmer until rice is almost tender, about 10 minutes.

Spoon rice mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish. Stir in tomatoes, turkey, olives and peas, if using. Bake until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle each portion with cilantro.

Per serving: 354 calories; 11 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 40 milligrams cholesterol; 38 grams carbohydrate; 25 grams protein; 1,683 milligrams sodium; 3 grams fiber

- Recipe and analysis from the Chicago Tribune, a Tribune publishing newspaper

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