Sam’s Paella

My version of chicken paella with king prawns

My version of chicken paella with king prawns

If you had to associate any dish with Spain most people would say that the most well know is Paella. This vibrant coloured rise dish is perfect for any celebration or even as a special treat. The best thing about this dish is that it is gluten free. Every family have a different way of making this dish. I was taught by my Grandmother, who was taught by an old Spanish lady,  how to make this. Over the years I have adapted the way in which it is made to suit my cooking style.

What is great about this dish is that you can add what ever meat or fish you like. You can even make a vegetarian version. As this dish is made in several stages and a lot of it has to be done quickly I thought I would do something different and illustrate the method through pictures… So here goes my paella cooking lesson. My top tip is to have everything prepared and ready on the counter in front of you. If you are lucky enough to have an assistant it will make the whole thing stress free and you can enjoy cooking it.

Serves 3-4 people

Not everyone I know has a paella pan (I have 3 of them in varying sizes). A large frying pan will also be just as good. Make sure it is at least 1.5-2 inches deep.

The below ingredients are for a chicken paella with king prawns. If you like seafood. I would recommend that you have a good mixture of prawns, clams, muscles, squid, seafood sticks, and cockles . About 100-150g of each seafood. It’s good to have some muscles and calms in their shells for decoration. I would recommend a mixture of peeled and un-peeled prawns. swap the chicken stock for fish stock if you are making the dish with seafood, and vegetable stock if you are making a vegetable one.

Ingredients:
2 cups or paella rice – you can use risotto if you can’t find paella rice. I would not recommend normal long grain rice.
1 white onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper diced – you will need 4 strips of pepper for decoration
4 chicken breasts cut into large cubes. If you like meat on the bone why not use things and drumsticks. Two per person.
200g chorizo, cut into slices
1 1/2 litres of chicken stock
6 strands of saffron or 1 sachet of paellero
1 tsp paprika
pinch of mixed herbs
3 garlic cloves, crushed

Method:

1.

Heat a paella pan or a large frying pan with a generous amount of olive oil.

Heat a paella pan or a large frying pan with a generous amount of olive oil. Keep the heat on a medium setting while compiling the paella.

2.

Once the oli is hot, cook the onions and garlic for about 1 minute. Keep the ingredients moving so that they don't burn. Now add you rice and coat with the oil. Keep all the ingredients moving in the pan.

Once the oil is hot, cook the onions and garlic for about 1 minute. Keep the ingredients moving so that they don’t burn. Now add you rice and coat with the oil. Keep all the ingredients moving in the pan.

3.

Paella 3

Add the salt and paprika and keep all the ingredients moving. Add the chicken and cook for about 2 minutes until it is sealed.

4.

Add the chorizo and cook for about 2 minutes. Let the juices from it soak into the rice and chicken. Now add all of your stock and either the saffron or paellero. Add the herbs as well. Bring the liquid to the boil. Stir occasionally.

Add the chorizo and cook for about 2 minutes. Let the juices from it soak into the rice and chicken. Now add all of your stock and either the saffron or paellero. Add the herbs as well. Bring the liquid to the boil. Stir occasionally.

5.

Add the chopped peppers and give the mixture a final stir.

Add the chopped peppers and give the mixture a final stir.

6.

Add the prawns on top. These are scattered to one side as the person I was with is not a fan os seafood. Place the pepper strips decoratively on the top. Turn the heat down to a low heat and cover with a lid. Leave to cook for about 20 minutes. Check the dish, the rice should have absorbed  a lot of the liquid. Leave uncovered for about 10 minutes and serve when all the liquid is absored. The rice might catch on the bottom of the pan. This is not a problem and in-fact many people like the slightly over cooked rice. It's the best bit as far as I am concerned.  Serve with wedges of lemon.

Add the prawns on top. These are scattered to one side as the person I was with is not a lover of seafood. Place the pepper strips decoratively on the top. Turn the heat down to a low heat and cover with a lid. Leave to cook for about 20 minutes. Check the dish, the rice should have absorbed a lot of the liquid. Leave uncovered for about 10 minutes and serve when all the liquid is absorbed. The rice might catch on the bottom of the pan. This is not a problem and in-fact many people like the slightly over cooked rice. It’s the best bit as far as I am concerned.
Serve with wedges of lemon.

If you were making this with seafood, miss out stage 3 and all the ingredients that are added then, add then at stage 4. Once all the liquid is bought up to the boil, add all the seafood.

Happy gluten free cooking 🙂

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About samanthapidoux

Double Edward R Murrow award winner for 'Best Documentary' and 'Best Feature'. Community and freelance journalist and programme maker. Currently working at the Lincoln School of Journalism at the University of Lincoln.

Posted on August 24, 2013, in Food and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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