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Lobster Paella

Lobster Paella
Nestling the lobster meat in the paella after removing it from the oven ensures the lobster will remain sweet, tender and juicy while it reheats. For a more flavorful broth to add to the rice, you can make a fresh lobster stock from the leftover shells and bodies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 4 live lobsters, each about 1 1/4 lb.
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 fennel bulbs, stalks removed, cut into 1/2-
      inch dice
  • 2 cups Calasparra rice
  • 1/3 cup Pernod
  • 1/4 tsp. crumbled saffron, soaked in 1 Tbs.
      lemon juice
  • 1 cup sliced piquillo peppers or roasted red bell
      peppers
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Directions:

Bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat and add the 1 Tbs. salt. Add the lobsters one at a time, headfirst. Cover and cook until the lobsters are red, about 7 minutes. Transfer the lobsters to a large bowl filled with ice water and let cool completely. Reserve 5 cups of the cooking liquid.

Separate the claws and tail from the bodies, reserving the bodies to make stock, if desired (see note above). Remove the meat from the claws, knuckles and tails. Keep the claw and knuckle meat whole, and cut the tail meat in half lengthwise. Cover and refrigerate immediately. The meat will stay fresh up to 1 day.

Preheat an oven to 425ºF.

In an ovenproof braiser or other large pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the fennel and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes more. Stir in the rice, the reserved cooking liquid, the Pernod, saffron mixture and piquillo peppers. Season well with salt and pepper, bring to a simmer and cover.

Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking until the rice is just tender, about 12 minutes more. Remove the pan from the oven, nestle the lobster meat in the rice, cover and let stand until the lobster is hot, 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle the paella with the parsley and tarragon and serve immediately with lemon wedges alongside.
Serves 4 to 6.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.