Paella

If you thought that authentic Spanish paella was just to be munched on in Spain, well you’re wrong. Although it may be more enjoyable whilst sipping on a glass of fruity sangria overlooking the sea and knowing that your scalp is getting burnt to a frazzle – that’s got to happen to every Brit abroad right? It can also be pretty damn good sat at your dining table watching finals week of Masterchef UK.

My boyfriend and I are heading to Barcelona for a little four night break in just less than three weeks, so I thought it was about time to get us in the mood with my trusty Paella. This recipe really is fool proof, super easy and perfect for you if you’re a lemon lover!

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(Enough for 4 people)

You’ll need: 

3 medium chicken breasts (or 2 large ones)

100g chorizo sausage

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

1 white onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric

Cracked black pepper and salt

600g paella rice

1 litre of chicken stock

Juice and zest of one lemon

A handful of frozen peas

Fresh parsley, lemon wedges and crusty bread to serve

This is how we do it…

Start by chopping your vegetables and chorizo into decent sized chunks. Cut your chicken into small(ish) cubes and put aside.

Drizzle some olive oil into a paella pan or a heavy flat-bottomed frying pan and put over a medium-high heat. Cook your chicken for around 4-5 minutes before adding the chorizo and cook for a further 2 minutes until the chorizo has released its oil. Once cooked put in a bowl to one side.

Add a little more oil to the pan and begin to cook your onions and peppers until they start to brown a little before adding your crushed garlic.

Now add your paprika, turmeric, salt and pepper and allow to coat the veg. Add the rice as well as the chicken and chorizo mixture and stir so that rice is coated.

Add half of your stock and stir. Now allow the rice to soak up the stock before adding more. The trick for paella is to stir as little as possible, unlike risotto, this just means the rice keeps its texture and doesn’t go mushy, just stir enough so that it doesn’t stick to the pan.

Taste the rice to see if it’s cooked before adding the lemon juice, grated zest and peas and allow to cook through.

I like to add parsley and lemon wedges and serve on the table in the pan allowing people to help themselves with some delicious fresh crusty bread and butter – the typical Spanish way.

I also love to serve with seafood, try adding prawns or a seafood mix towards the end of cooking with your peas.

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I’d love to hear some of your Spanish and Mediterranean recipes before I go to Barcelona. 

                      aimee

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