An authentic (ish) Spanish paella that works every time.
Step 1: You Will Need
a paella pan
(or a big frying pan would do)
This one is 12" across, and makes enough paella for 6 people.
NB: To feed more people you need a bigger pan, because later on it gets pretty full.
Step 2: And Saffron
Which is reputed to be more expensive, pound for pound, than gold.
Which is a pity, because we need a good lot of it.
Thankfully, if you hunt around you can get a box of genuine Mancha saffron (like the pic) - enough for half a dozen paellas - for about two quid. UK residents can google SPICESWAREHOUSE.COM.
Step 3: Some Suitable Music
Today we'll be using Yasmin Levy's Mano Suave, a heady blend of Spanish, Jewish and Arabic influences. Although a bit melancholy, it goes really well with paella.
(We will get to the recipe soon I promise.)
Step 4: Gather Up Your Ingredients
1.5 pts stock (one and a half pints = about a litre)
2 tbspns olive oil
2 chicken breasts cut in pieces
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 each red, green & yellow pepper
200g jar Seeds of change tomato puree with basil
12 oz paella rice (about 3/4 of a packet)
4 oz frozen peas
5 oz chorizo, sliced
bag of mixed prawns, mussels, etc
Step 5: What Ingredients to Choose
BUT it must be the round grain type suitable for paella - not long grain or Basmati or anything like that.
I've got four coloured peppers - the colour is part of the attraction of the finished dish.
I'm using Marigold to make my stock - but you can use any light stock.
I'm using a 200g jar Seeds of change tomato puree with basil - but you can use any tomato passata or puree you like. If you have luscious ripe plum tomatoes where you live like we don't :-( you can use fresh ones deskinned and chopped.
I'm using a pack of frozen mixed seafood: this gives you a mix of prawns and squid and mussels and things without having to buy huge amounts of each.
I've got some cheapo German chorizo* this time. Mistake. I'll get proper Spanish next time. Buy a proper sausage and chop it - don't mess with that chopped stuff you get on deli counters: it tastes of nothing.
- Say it this way: CHOREETHO - ch as in church and the Spanish z is always 'th'. Don't make yourself look silly by saying CHORITSO or KORITSO.
Step 6: OK - Let's Get Cooking
Defrost shellfish & frozen peas.
Make 1.5 pints stock. Add a good-sized pinch of saffron strands. Leave for 30 mins.
Step 7: Fry Chicken
Heat 2 tbspns olive oil in a paella pan
Cut chicken breasts into pieces.
When oil reaches right temp, fry chicken for 15 mins till golden brown.
Use a spatter guard!!!
Step 8: Fry Onions
Chop garlic. Chop onions.
Remove chicken pieces when they are golden brown and reserve them.
Fry garlic and onions for 5 mins (sorry - forgot to take pictures of that bit!)
Chop peppers. Add to pan. Cook for 10 mins. Turn down heat.
Step 9: Add Tomato
Add a jar of Seeds of Change tomato & basil puree. Cook 5 mins.
Step 10: OK, Get Serious - This Is the Bit Where You Can Go Wrong
Turn up heat. Add stock. Bring it to rolling boil.
You MUST put the rice into BOILING liquid: if you don't it may not cook through properly.
Stir it in a bit, and cook 5 mins.
Step 11: Looks Nice Already, Doesn't It?
Stir in 4oz peas and chorizo. Turn down heat.
Simmer 25 mins, stirring occasionally.
Step 12: Add Shellfish
Add bag of shellfish and its liquid.
Stir it in a bit.
Cook 15 mins more.
Step 13: Finish Off
Turn off heat.
Cover and leave to rest 5 mins.
Sprinkle chopped parsley over
Serve to waiting punters.
Step 14: How the Dish Will Look After You've Served Up the Food...
It happens every time.
Step 15: One Thing I Forgot to Say...
Just a small thing.
What you have just made is NOT a paella - sorry about that. It is un arroz.
A true paella is:
i) made outdoors
ii) made by a man
iii) never stirred
But who cares? It tastes just as good.
One more small thing: this is only one version - there are hundreds different all over Spain. So feel free to be creative - add in any old stuff you've got lying around. Try this basic version first though.
Here's the whole recipe as a pdf. Actually, you could have just downloaded the pdf at the beginning and skipped the rest. Still, the pictures were fun, weren't they?
We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.