A few weekends ago I went on a trip to Barcelona to visit a friend who has moved out there with work for a year. It’s the first time I’ve been to Spain (if you don’t count Ibiza), which I still can’t believe given my cousin is Spanish! I was really excited to be spending a few days exploring a new city and trying the local delicacies. This trip inspired me to cook a paella for Mother’s Day as something a bit different. I used to cook paella a lot but just totally forgot about it and haven’t in months. So, now that I’ve rekindled my love of paella, I thought I’d share the recipe with you. This is my take on paella and you’re not limited to my ingredients list. The possibilities are endless so go wild!
50 minutes cook time
2 small onions
3 cloves of garlic
3 mixed peppers
1 chorizo ring
300g cooked prawns
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp tomato puree
500g Paella rice
1 chicken stock pot
A handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Fresh red chilli and a lemon wedge to garnish
For a vegetarian option you could swap out the chicken stock for vegetable stock and add more veg such as courgette and peas.
- Prepare the vegetables by dicing the onion and peppers and crush the garlic in a garlic crusher. Finely chop the parsley and put half to one side for garnishing at the end. Then dice up the chicken into small pieces and then work the chorizo into thin slices. I tend to cut the chorizo at a slight angle to get slightly larger pieces.
- Heat a large pan with some oil. Once hot, put in the chicken, chorizo, onions, garlic and the leftover parsley. Cook for around 5 minutes.
- Add in the peppers and cook for a further 5 minutes until the meat is cooked and the vegetables soften.
- Add in the smoked paprika and tomato puree at this stage and season with some salt and pepper. Once the contents of the pan have soaked up the flavours you’re ready to add the rice.
- Dissolve the chicken stock in 1 litre of boiling water.
- Pour in the paella rice and coat with the ingredients in the pan, again so that the rice can pick up the beautiful flavours.
- Add the stock and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally from the outside in. This part takes the longest, I would say around 25 minutes. You will need to add in approx 500ml more of boiling water once some of the rice has soaked up the liquid so keep an eye on this and add in stages. I keep a fork on the side to try the rice and judge if it needs more liquid (there’s no art to this).
- Add in the cooked prawns towards the end but with enough time for their flavour to get into the paella as well.
- Sprinkle the parsley you saved earlier over the top with some chopped fresh red chilli and the lemon wedges and serve.
I tend to serve my paella with some nice crusty bread and a bit of salad on the side if I fancy it. Buon Apetito!