Monday, 4 July 2011
Olé! Chicken and Chorizo Paella
I love Spain. There, I said it. From memories of girlie holidays to football to paddling in the Med with my bubs I am in love with the place. It's been too long since I was last there and because that is the case I try to create an Iberian feel 'en mi casa', with some Spanish cuisine and a decent drop (or two) of Rioja. This recipe is a favourite with my long suffering companion and food taster Phill, who asks for this, often, and will, if necessary, hoover up any leftovers.
Now, if you're a purist, then this recipe may offend. My problem is that I am the only one in this house who likes fish (and fish fingers do not count). Anything remotely fishy or 'baby bird' like and it's a no go so this recipe through necessity contains just chicken, cut into decent chunks and chorizo. Much as I like fish this paella is pretty damn good, and extraordinarily easy to make if you are vigilant and able to cook things in sequence.
This recipe tweaked by me, is influenced by Tamasin Day Lewis' version of paella who in turn was inspired by those clever people at Moro whose cookbooks I adore.
Chicken and Chorizo Paella (for all you fish haters out there...)
Serves 4 in our house, maybe 6 at a (very big) push...
7 tbsp olive oil
Four chicken breasts, sliced 'chunkily'
6oz cooking chorizo if you can get it, cut into little pieces. Failing that use a chorizo ring, not the sliced stuff for sandwiches
2 large Spanish onions, finely chopped
1 large green pepper, halved, seeded and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
8oz/225g calasparra (paella rice)
1 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika
two roasted piquillo peppers, or ordinary roasted peppers from a jar
1.75 pints/900ml hot chicken stock or water
Lots of parsley, for garnish and taste.
1 lemon, cut in wedges
Sea salt and black pepper
In a 30-40cm paella pan or frying pan, heat the olive oil over a high heat, stir-fry the chicken for a few seconds so it is golden but still a little undercooked. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and put to one side.
Turn down the heat to low, and fry the chorizo for a minute. Add the onion and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the green pepper and garlic, and continue cooking for a further 5-10 minutes. At this point, the mixture should have caramelised and taste sweet.
Stir the rice into the pan to coat in the mixture for a minute. Now season with salt and a little pepper; this is the time to season the rice perfectly.
Add the paprika and peppers, drained of their water, followed by the hot stock, and simmer for 15 minutes or until there is just a thin layer of liquid around the rice.
Return the chicken and juices to the pan at this point, and cover the pan tightly with a lid or tin foil for about 5 minutes or so. Then add the parsley, cut the lemon into wedges and place on the edge of the paella pan, like so:
Rioja is such a lovely thing to serve with this! Don't let this opportunity slip away!