Paella

My first proper blog post was loosely linked to paella and the rather nice one my brother in law cooks. There are two issues with his paella, firstly we don’t see him enough to experience it very often and secondly, when we do, the portion size is on the small side!

I experimented with paella a while ago and we really enjoyed it, although I wasn’t keen on the seafood element so we’ve had chicken and chorizo paella ever since. As someone who is not a rice fan, I enjoy this although risotto is still my favourite.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
300g chicken, cut in bite size pieces
100g chorizo, cut into chunks
Half of a red pepper, sliced
1 onion , sliced
1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
200ml hot water
1 tsp smoked paprika

For this recipe I do have a paella pan and would recommend this but, for a first attempt at least, you can also use a wide, heavy frying pan.

Fry off the chicken and chorizo in the oil until the chicken is mostly cooked through. Usually I put mine in an oven tray and into the oven on a low temperature but you can just put it to one side, just make sure it goes back in the paella long enough to cook through.

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Add the onions to the oil, which should now be a slight orange colour from the chorizo, until starting to soften, then add the pepper. Cook for a few minutes before stirring in the garlic. After two minutes stir in the paprika and then the rice.

At this point I give the rice a minute or two before adding the tomatoes, then rinse out the tin with hot water and add this too. Simmer for 15 minutes and stir occasionally.  There is a school of thought that the best bit of a paella is the crispy bit at the bottom if you don’t stir it but neither of us really enjoy that so I stir enough to stop it sticking to the bottom.

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Add the chicken and chorizo back in and simmer for at least 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

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Top tweaks:

Add prawns for the last few minutes
Instead of just hot water, soak some saffron in hot water and add that
Stuff into peppers after the 15 minute simmer and put into an oven to bake (although you may want to leave out the chicken) for 10 minutes
Try pork instead of chicken

Like risotto, paella is quite versatile and will absorb lots of different flavours, please let me know any tweaks or comments below.

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