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Iberian Ham and Artichoke Rice
© Con Poulos

Iberian Ham and Artichoke Rice

  • ACTIVE: 1 HR
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 45 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 6
  • STAFF-FAVORITE

This paella-like dish from chef Pablo Montero is full of intensely flavorful ingredients, like Ibérico ham. (You can substitute serrano ham, which is less expensive.)

Slideshows: Paella Recipes

  1. 1 lemon, halved
  2. 3 large artichokes
  3. 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  4. Kosher salt
  5. 2 tablespoons hazelnuts
  6. 1 cup finely chopped onion
  7. 6 ounces very thinly sliced dry-cured ham, such as jamon Ibérico or serrano, 4 ounces finely chopped
  8. 2 medium tomatoes—halved, seeded and finely chopped
  9. 4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  10. 2 cups Bomba or Calasparra rice (see Note)
  11. 1/2 cup lightly packed parsley
  12. 1/2 small garlic clove
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Squeeze some of the juice from the lemon halves into a large bowl of water. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, snap off the dark green outer leaves. Holding the artichoke on its side, using a serrated knife, cut off all but 3/4 inch of the remaining leaves. Peel and trim the bottom and stem of the artichoke. Halve the artichoke and scoop out the furry choke with a spoon. Cut the artichoke hearts in half again, rub with the lemon and add to the bowl of lemon water. Repeat with the remaining artichokes. Drain the artichokes and pat dry.
  2. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the artichokes and a generous pinch of salt. Cook over moderate heat, tossing occasionally, until just starting to brown, about 4 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of water, cover and steam the artichokes until just tender, about 12 minutes. Transfer the artichokes to a plate and wipe out the skillet.
  3. Spread the hazelnuts in a pie plate and toast for about 7 minutes, until fragrant. Let cool slightly, transfer the nuts to a kitchen towel and rub off the skins.
  4. In the large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just softened, 5 minutes. Add the chopped ham and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and the mixture thickens, 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a simmer; keep hot.
  5. Add the rice to the skillet and stir to coat with the tomato mixture. Stir in the hot stock, spread the rice in an even layer and bring to a boil. Nestle the artichokes in the rice. Cover and bake for about 20 minutes, until most of the stock is absorbed. Uncover the skillet and bake for about 10 minutes longer, until the stock is completely absorbed and the rice is tender but moist. Remove the skillet from the oven, cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the parsley, hazelnuts and garlic and pulse until finely chopped. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons of oil and puree until nearly smooth. Season the parsley sauce with salt. Serve the rice straight from the skillet, drizzled with the parsley sauce and topped with the sliced ham.
Notes Bomba and Calasparra rice are available at specialty food stores or tienda.com.

Suggested Pairing

This hearty recipe is a great match for bold, berry-rich red wine.

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