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Home-Made With Cava

On our new edition of Home-Made we tapped chef Chris McDonald from St. Clair and Yonge eatery Cava. Cava showcases dishes from the Iberian Peninsula while keeping a "watchful eye on sustainable and ethical ingredients". Since opening Cava was named one of the Top 100 Restaurants by Joanne Kates in 2011 and was an Diners' Choice Winner in 2012.

For Home-Made, Chef McDonald shared the recipe for one of Cava's signature dishes: Cava Paella.

Bon Appétit!

CAVA Paella

Serves 4


750 mL chicken stock
3 oz. olive oil
4 small chicken thighs, cut in half
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
100g Sofrito, see below
300g Bomba (paella) rice
Large pinch saffron
12 littleneck clams, scrubbed
150g chorizo, halved lengthwise and sliced
150g octopus, cooked and cut into chunks
1 handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
Maldon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring stock to simmer in a saucepan and keep warm.

Season chicken pieces heavily with salt and pepper.

In a large paella pan or cast iron skillet (13-14”), heat 1 oz. olive oil over medum heat. Place chicken in pan and brown lightly on both sides, about 4-5 minutes in total. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Discard any oil remaining in pan. Reduce heat to low. Add the other 2 oz. olive oil to pan and then the garlic. Cook briefly and then add the sofrito, cooking for 1-2 minutes.

Stir in the rice, making sure it is evenly coated. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes.

Add the stock all at once and increase heat to medium. Crumble saffron over the pan. Return chicken pieces to pan and cook for about 5 minutes.
Scatter chorizo and octopus over the rice. Push clams in hinge side down.

Once you see the stock disappearing into the rice, lower heat. If the flame or element does not cover the base of the pan then move the pan around a bit as the paella cooks. Cook for around 20 minutes in total.

Remove the pan from heat. Sprinkle the paella with chopped parsley and cover with a lid or dish towel. Let the paella rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle Maldon salt over the paella and grind some pepper over top. Serve at table.

2 oz. olive oil
1 large white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
4 canned plum tomatoes
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp. smoked Spanish paprika
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in skillet over low heat. Cook onions and garlic slowly, about 10 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook a further 10 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove bay leaves and transfer mixture to food processor. Pureé to a smooth consistency. Use in 2-3 days or freeze for later use.

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