Easy Peasy – Paella

paella

Paella

Paella looks and tastes fantastic – especially if you’ve got a huge fl at paella pan to act as both cooking and serving dish. If you haven’t, then use the widest-based pan you have to ensure the rice has the chance to cook evenly. The only slightly difficult part of paella is planning the ingredients but once you’ve got that list written, it’s plain sailing! Remember, with paella you can choose what you like and leave out what you don’t.

Serves 4

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 boneless chicken thighs, seasoned
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium red chilli, deseeded (if you prefer) and finely chopped
200g chorizo sausage, diced
1 teaspoon paprika
Pinch of saff ron strands
1 tablespoon tomato purée
300g paella rice (or you can use risotto rice)
200ml white wine
1 fish stock cube dissolved in 1 litre hot water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g clams, unshelled
2–3 tubes squid, cleaned and sliced into rings
8 large prawns, shells on
100g mussels, unshelled, cleaned, beards removed and any with broken or open shells discarded
50g frozen peas
Squeeze of lemon juice

  1. Ensure all your vegetables and the chorizo are prepared before you start.
  2. Heat your widest pan with the oil. Place the seasoned chicken thighs skin-side down and leave on the heat until they take on a golden-brown colour. When they’re cooked halfway through, remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add the shallot, pepper, garlic, chilli and chorizo to the pan. Cook for a couple of minutes until the shallots have become translucent. Add the paprika, saffron and tomato purée. Mix well together then add the rice. Stir the rice so that every grain is coated in tomato then add the white wine. When most of the wine has evaporated, return the chicken to the pan and add enough stock to just cover the rice. Season well and give a little stir to lift some of the rice off the bottom of the pan. Your heat should be quite low now.
  4. Cook for 10–12 minutes or until most of the stock has been absorbed then add the seafood. Scatter it over the paella and place the peas on top.
  5. Pour over the remaining stock then cover the pan with a lid if you have one, or tightly cover with foil to help the mussels and clams steam open (this takes about 4–6 minutes). If the rice is not quite cooked but the liquid has evaporated, add an extra dash of wine and a squeeze of lemon at this stage and cook a little longer.
  6. When the seafood shells are open and the prawns are pink, it’s ready to serve.

As featured in “Easy Peasy: Laid-back food for lazy days”

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