Paella

Since paella recipes vary depending upon what might be available, this should be treated as a guideline. A paella should contain a mixture of meat, chorizo and seafood. This recipe is how I like to make it for a dinner party. As a daily dinner, I make it simply with chicken, chorizo and prawns. Without chorizo, however, make something else!

When adjusting the quantities for, say, dinner for two, keep the total liquid quantity twice that of the rice.

Planning

serves: 4 – 6
preparation time:  
cooking time: 40 mins

Ingredients

  • 4 langoustines (or large crevettes)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 small chicken (~2 lbs)
  • 1 chorizo sausage, chunked
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, seeded & chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 12 oz paella (bomba) rice
  • 20 fl oz water
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • pinch saffron threads soaked in 4 fl oz warm water
  • 8 oz peas, shelled
  • 6 oz large prawns
  • 1 net mussels
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh parsley

Method

Scrub, de-beard and steam the mussels until only just opened. Remove most of the mussels from their shells but keep a few whole for decoration, if you like. Cut the chicken up into large-bite-size chunks. Bone the leg meat but joint the wings and leave the wing bones in.

In a large, deep frying pan (a paella pan if you happen to have one), heat the olive oil over moderate heat. Add the chicken and chorizo chunks and fry them for about 10 minutes until the chicken is brown. Remove the chicken and chorizo from the pan. The chorizo should have flavour and coloured the olive oil beautifully.

Add the onion to the pan and fry for about 5 mins until it is translucent but not brown. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the red pepper, tomatoes, salt, pepper and paprika and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or so until the mixture thickens.

Add the rice to the pan and, stirring frequently, cook it for 3 mins until the grains become a little transparent. Add the water, lemon juice and the saffron mixture and bring to the boil. Return the chicken and chorizoto the pan and add the shelled peas. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 15 mins stirring occasionally. Add the prawns and mussels and cook for another 5 mins or just until the liquid has been absorbed.

Meanwhile, either cook (if raw) or reheat (if precooked) the langoustines. Either way, 1 minute in boiling water should suffice.

Remove the pan from the heat and decorate with the langoustines and mussels in their shells. Sprinkle over the chopped parsley and serve immediately with copious quantities of dry white Spanish wine.


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