Project Food Blog

Chicken and Chorizo Paella (serves 15)

1.5 kg Chicken Meat (Leg, Thigh or Breast meat diced into bite-size pieces - keep the skin & bone on for extra flavour)
1.5 kg Spanish Paella Rice
500g diced Chorizo
500g Chopped French green beans
8 medium, ripe tomatoes
About 3 litres of boiling chicken Stock
Large Pinch of Saffron
2 tsps of Sweet Paprika (Pimenton Dulce)
2 Red peppers, sliced & roasted if possible
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
Salt to taste
A few sprigs of Rosemary
2 lemons (cut into wedges for decoration)
Large handful of fresh chopped parsley 


Heat a few tablespoons of the olive oil in the Paella Pan and part cook the chicken pieces a little (longer if they contain bones).
Make up the stock and add a good pinch of the saffron stamens. Let them infuse for about 15 mins.

To make the "Sofrito", one of the most important parts of the Paella, first sweat the onion in the Paella Pan until soft. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry over a high heat. Keep stirring. As the mixture reduces, it will start to thicken up to a thick dark paste. When it is this dark red paste you have the perfect sofrito !

Add the chorizo, paprika and about half of the peppers. Mix around thoroughly and continue fry for few more minutes.
Next pour the hot stock into the paella pan. Taste for seasoning. It needs to be quite well salted, but if using stock cubes, then you will probably not need any extra salt.

Add the beans and bring to the boil and leave for several minutes for all the flavours to mix in with the stock.

Now add the rice, mix around briefly and make sure all the rice grains are under the surface of the liquid. DO NOT STIR the rice after this.
After about 10 minutes the rice should start to appear though the liquid. Turn down the heat and continue to simmer for about another 10 minutes until the rice starts to absorb the stock.

Once most of the liquid has been absorbed, taste the rice. It should be cooked "al dente", still with a slight nutty taste.

Cover the Paella pan with foil and turn up the heat for a minute or so. (You will hear the rice "pop" as it is caramelising on the bottom of the pan). This is called the "Socarrat" the most highly prized part of the Paella. Covering the pan at this stage also helps finish off the cooking of the top layer of rice.
Turn off the heat. Decorate with lemon wedges, the remaining red peppers, the sprigs of rosemary and the chopped parsley. 
Recover and leave for a good 10 minutes to rest.
Serve directly from the pan,  remembering to scrape to the bottom to get the "socarrat."



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