This is a great recipe, I was taught how to cook this at a paella masterclass in Brighton nearly 20 years ago and I have never forgotten how to make it! You will need a large paella pan for this amount, which aren’t expensive to buy (I got mine from TK Maxx for less than £10). You can substitute the chicken for fish too, but the fish won’t take as long to cook.
- Olive oil for frying
- 2 chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into bite size chunks
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 3 large peppers (red and/or yellow work best)
- 150g of Chorizo sausage, outer coating removed and roughly chopped
- 100ml dry sherry
- 300g Spanish paella rice
- Pinch of saffron
- 1 tablespoon of pimenton or paprika (pimenton can be bought online, use either the hot or smoked version, up to you)
- 2 pints of chicken stock (or veg/fish if making a pescatarian version)
- Asparagus spears
- King prawns, mussels and scallops (all optional)
- Boil the kettle and make up the stock, add the saffron and set aside.
- Put a good glug of oil into the paella pan on a high heat, add the chicken to brown (but not cook through), remove from the pan and set aside.
- Turn the heat down a little and add the onions, garlic peppers and chorizo. Stir fry for about 10 minutes until softened.
- Add the sherry and rice, stir it all together to coat the rice in the chorizo flavoured oil and cook off the sherry, then press the mixture as an even layer over the bottom of the pan.
- Carefully and slowly add enough stock to cover the rice mixture completely – it’s really important that you don’t stir the dish again from that stage on! Leave to simmer until the rice has absorbed the stock and repeat the process again.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180C.
- When the rice has absorbed the last batch of stock, add the rest of the stock and press the chicken pieces evenly into the rice one by one. If you feel that the rice needs more liquid then you can add more stock or just some boiling water.
- Remove from the hob and place in the pre-heated over for around 20 – 30 minutes, until it’s golden on the top.
- Arrange the asparagus, prawns, mussels and scallops (if using) on the top, slightly pushing the seafood into the rice.
- Return to the oven for another 10 minutes and serve!
- You should find that the rice has caramalised at the bottom of the pan, this is the way the Spanish make it and the golden caramelised crunchy rice is called “socarrat” – it’s the best bit!
Serve with a mixed salad and warm crusty bread and aioli -delicious!