How to Make the Perfect Paella
There are numerous variations of this magnificent creation that is believed to originate from Valencia, Spain. It has been said that Paella is a perfect union between the two cultures of Spain, the Romans for the pan and the Arabs for the rice. Paella has firmly cemented itself deeply into the cuisine of Spain.
Here is one version that you may like to give a whirl. This will serve 4 – 6. The key to this particular recipe is the “chicken spice mixture”.
Chicken Spice Mixture Ingredients:
- 20 grams sweet paprika
- 10 grams dried oregano
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper from the mill
- 1 size 14 chicken – cut into 8 pieces
- 60 millilitres extra virgin olive oil
- 200 grams chorizo sausages – cut into a large dice
- Sea salt flakes – to taste
- Ground pepper from the mill – to taste
- 1 each red onion – shredded
- 4 each garlic cloves – minced
- 1 each 440 gram can crushed tomatoes
- 400 grams short grain Spanish rice
- 5 litre chicken stock – heated
- Generous pinch saffron threads
- 12 each clams – scrubbed
- 500 grams green prawns peeled and cleaned
- 12 each mussels – scrubbed
- 100 grams green peas – thawed and blanched
- Lemon wedges to accompany
- ½ bunch flat leaf parsley leaves – roughly chopped for garnishing
Combine the chicken spice mixture ingredients in a small bowl. Place the chicken pieces in an appropriately sized bowl and add the spice mixture and rub all over the chicken. Cover with cling film and allow to marinade for at least for 1 hour under refrigeration. While the chicken is marinating heat the olive oil in a paella pan over medium heat. Sauté the prepared chorizo until browned on all sides, remove from the pan, place in a small bowl and reserve for later use. Add the marinated chicken pieces skin side down, turn when nicely browned and turn to brown on all sides. Remove from pan and reserve.
Using the same pan sauté the onions and garlic. Allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes over a medium heat. Add the crushed tomatoes and cook until the mixture incorporates and the flavours amalgamate. Fold in the rice and stir to coat the grains. Pour in the heated chicken stock and simmer for 10 minutes, gently moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid. Add chicken, chorizo, and saffron. Add the clams, prawns and mussels, sliding them in among the rice. The prawns will take roughly 7-9 minutes to cook through. Give the paella a good swill and allow it simmer for a further 15 minutes, without stirring, until the rice is al dente. When the paella is cooked and the rice looks fluffy and moist, raise the heat to high for 30-60 seconds until you smell the scent of toasted rice coming through from the bottom on the pan, then it’s perfect. Adjust the seasoning.
Remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with the green peas, chopped parsley and lemon wedges. Serve with a bowl of dressed mixed salad and a nice loaf of bread.
image thanks to craig