Classic Spanish Paella

  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Takes: 25 mins to prepare and 40 mins to cook, 40 mins to cool
  • Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • large pinch saffron strands
  • 600ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 125g (4oz) chorizo, roughly chopped
  • 500g (1lb) boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (or a mix), chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 2tsp paprika
  • 250g (8oz) Spanish paella rice
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 75g (3oz) frozen peas
  • 250g (8oz) cooked prawns with shells on (thawed if frozen) and rinsed
  • small handful flat-leaf parsley
  • chopped lemon wedges to serve

Each serving contains 535 calories, 9g sugar, 25g fat, 6g saturates and 4g salt.

Method

Paella is said to have originated in Valencia, on Spain’s eastern coastline, where it’s traditionally made with meat and cooked on an open fire. Most versions use a mix of meat and seafood.

Stir the saffron strands into the stock and set aside to allow the flavours to infuse while you prepare the rest of the paella.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a paella pan or a large deep frying pan with a lid. Tip in the chorizo and fry for about 3 minutes until it’s crisp and the spicy red oil has been released. Remove and drain on kitchen towel.

Stir the chopped chicken pieces into the pan and fry over a high heat for about 8 minutes, or until the meat is starting to turn golden around the edges. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and set aside.

Pour another tablespoon of oil into the pan, tip in the chopped onion and garlic and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes, until the onion is softened and just starting to colour. Stir in the pepper and paprika with the remaining tablespoon of oil and stir-fry for a further 1-2 minutes. By now the pan should have lots of brown crispy bits on the bottom, which will all add flavour.

With the heat still quite high, quickly stir in the rice so it gets well coated in the oil, then pour in the infused stock plus 450ml (¾pint) of boiling water, scraping up the sticky brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Return the browned chicken pieces to the pan, then add the chopped tomatoes. Cover the pan and cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring only very occasionally. Scatter the peas, prawns and fried chorizo over the top, cover again and leave to cook a further 5 minutes, or until the rice is just cooked and most of the liquid in the pan has been absorbed.

Remove the pan from the heat, put the lid on and leave it to stand for 5 minutes. When ready, give the paella a couple of stirs to lightly mix the ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper, scatter over the chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges and an extra drizzle of oil, if you like.

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