I have loved al fresco® all natural chicken sausages and meat balls since I was first introduced to it in April. It’s healthy and low in fat, but high in flavor. Its versatility is such that I have not had the same meal twice since. From salads to soups, from every day to special occasion, the options are apparently endless. Case in point, I have spent this month making meals with al fresco sausages and meatballs, and each time, I came away very impressed.
So, I was challenged to create my own personal recipe using this wonderful product. I racked my head – they already have dozens of recipes for fast and easy weeknight meals. I make a half recipe (it’s just me in the house), but have plenty left over for lunches. I have several recipes of my own device, so thought about incorporating al fresco into one of them. But, after careful consideration (and the desire to impress a charming gentleman I’ve been seeing recently), I decided to go out on a limb and create something I haven’t made before – paella!
I have always loved paella from the restaurants I have visited, and after looking at a few recipes, I decided that while paella is not an easy dish to prepare, it was fairly simple. I could do it – and replace the traditional sausage with al fresco® all natural chicken sausage. I had intended to use the smoked andouille chicken sausage, but alas, I could not find it in any store in my area. I opted to use the sweet Italian. While it was not my first choice, it was still a very good one. Come to think of it, I can’t imagine a “bad” choice from all of the wonderful choices from al fresco®!
I went shopping at my favorite purveyor of spices for the best smoked Spanish paprika and finest saffron. I nearly balked at doing paella, simply because of the purchase of so dear a spice as saffron, but I decided that while I was going out on a limb, I was going to go all out, too! The best Turkish bay leaf was on my list, as well as some fresh and spicy red pepper flakes.
I did not adhere to any one recipe, basically making this my very own. I decided to call my dish (Almost) traditional paella. Everything about it is traditional, except for the sausage. However, that did not take away from the end result in the slightest. As a matter of fact, I liked the lighter taste from the al fresco® all natural chicken sausage than with the high fat pork and beef sausage in the restaurants I visited.
It only took about an hour from start to finish. Not a weeknight dish, but it’s such an impressive dish and according to my gentleman friend, amazing! This is one recipe that will be a regular player in this house when I want to impress!
I sincerely hope you try it and let me know what you think!
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