Melanie's Food Adventures

Paella Perfection

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Paella is another one of those fantastic one-pot dishes that look and taste the business! It’s good enough to dish up when you have friends round (letting everyone help themselves from the pan in the middle of the table) or just a cosy quiet night in.

I decided to go with my chef of the moment Jamie Oliver‘s Chicken and Chorizo Paella. Lots of tasty, fresh, ingredients that you can experiment with to find just the combination for you!


INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6)

1 Onion

1 medium sized Carrot

1/2 bunch of fresh Parsley

70g Chorizo

2-3 skinless, boneless Chicken Thighs

Olive Oil

1tsp Sweet Smoked Paprika

1 Red Pepper

1tbsp Tomato Puree

1 Chicken Stock Cube

300g Paella Rice

100g frozen Peas

200g frozen peeled cooked Prawns

1 Lemon (to serve)


METHOD

  1. Peel and finely slice the Garlic, then peel and roughly chop the Onion and Carrot.
  2. Pick off the leaves of the Fresh Parsley and keep to one side for later, chopping the stalks finely. Now, roughly chop up the Chorizo and Chicken Thighs.
  3. Pour a decent glug of Olive Oil into a large lidded shallow casserole dish or pan and place into a medium heat. Add your Garlic, Onion, Carrot, Parsley Stalks, Chorizo, Chicken and teaspoon of Paprika, and fry for 5 minutes. You need to stir this quite regularly to prevent catching and to ensure everything stays nice and combined in the flavours.
  4. Remove the seeds from your Pepper, and roughly chop it up before adding it to the pan for another 5 minutes, stirring regularly again.
  5. Stir in your tablespoon of Tomato Puree and then crumble in your Chicken Stock Cube (alternatively, you could do what I did, and use a Chicken Stock Pot), before adding your Paella Rice. Give it all a good stir and leave for a couple of minutes to allow the rice to soak up the flavours. Now pour in 750ml of Boiling Water and a wee pinch of Salt and Pepper.
  6. Place the lid onto the pan and bring to the boil before reducing the heat to a simmer for 15 minutes. You need to stir pretty frequently during this time, bringing the outside of the mixture into the centre and then from the centre back out. Each time you stir you’ll notice the water reducing, you may need to add a splash of water if it starts to catch to allow the rice to cook completely.
  7. Finally, stir in your Frozen Peas and Prawns. Cover again for a final 5 minutes, or until your prawns are cooked through.
  8. Taste again, and season if necessary before chopping up your Parsley Leaves and scattering them over the paella.
  9. Serve with a wedge of Lemon to squeeze over the top.

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Hints and Tips

To add a twist to your paella, add a hot smoked Paprika instead of a sweet one, or a few slices of red chilli.

Paella is so versatile and it’s easy to make a veggie alternative. Swap the meat and fish to frozen broadbeans, runner beans and courgette.

 

Melanie, Food Adventurer

 

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