• Chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • Fresh squid in rings
  • King prawns (raw and shell-on)
  • Cooking chorizo
  • Red onions
  • Garlic
  • Carrot
  • Red pepper
  • Fennel
  • Lemon
  • Frozen peas – defrosted in cold water.
  • Tomato puree
  • Prawn + chicken stock (see the method)
  • Bay leaf
  • Thyme
  • Parsley (stalks separated from chopped leaves)
  • Glass of white wine
  • Paella rice
  • Salt pepper
  • Smoked paprika

The method

The stock: Peel prawns, devein (slice along back to remove) and set prawns aside.  Fry heads and shells in olive oil with a little carrot and onion.  Squish the heads with a wooden spoon.  Fry for a good 8-10 minutes until everything smells concentrated.  De-glaze with white wine and reduce.  Cover with water, then add bay leaf, parsley stalks and thyme.  Use a potato masher to further extract the goodness from the prawn heads.  Simmer for 25-30 mins. Strain through a chinoise, using wooden spoon to squeeze all liquid from the shells.  Heat strained stock gently, add organic chicken stock cube and a pinch of saffron.

Brown the chicken: Salt the skin and heat the olive oil in large wide pan.  Fry skin side down until well crisped, then brown all over. Remove and set aside.

The squid & chorizo: Spoon off the excess oil leaving 1-2 tablespoons and all the crispy bits.  Back on the heat fry the chorizo and squid briefly.  Set aside with the chicken.

Sweat the veg:  In the remaining oil sweat the veg for 5-10 mins.  Add 1 tbsp of tomato puree and a heaped tsp of smoked paprika.  Add the rice, coating it in all the flavours.  Fry for another 5 mins.  Return the chicken, squid and chorizo to the pan.

Add the stock: Reduce the stock to 750 ml (or add water to increase to 750 ml if less).  Add to rice and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes.

[TIP:  If cooking with gas you may find the narrow diameter of heat means the rice in the centre of the pan cooks faster than the rice on the outside – we assume traditional paella cooking involves an even heat to the pan that a low gas hob does not achieve.  Authentic paella should not be stirred, to allow the crusty crispy bottom (sorcarrat) to form.  However, uncooked rice will kill the dish so we scarified the sorcarrat and do occasionally stir the rice around – but this is not risotto!)]

Sear the prawns:  Sear prawns in olive oil in a very hot frying pan fast to achieve a little colour.  Set aside.

Final steps:  Once chicken is fully cooked, remove (ensuring no rice comes with it). Continue to simmer the rice until it is just done.  Now fold in the prawns and peas allowing the prawns to finish cooking in the residual head.  Return the chicken to the pan and scatter chopped parsley and garnish with fat lemon wedges.

We served ours with sour cream and chive but this is disgracefully  inauthentic.


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