I don’t know why I had thought Paella was a fiddle to make and had never tried cooking it. I am totally converted. It is the best and most delicious way to feed a crowd.
10 chicken thighs
20 jumbo prawns, fresh or frozen preferably with shells on
200g clams or mussels
1 large chorizo sausage chopped into rounds
800g paella rice
2 onions finely chopped
4 chopped cloves of garlic
pinch of saffron threads
4 tbsp tomato puree
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
3 red peppers roasted, seeded & sliced (or from a jar)
1 1/2 ltr fish, vegetable or chicken stock
200g frozen peas
2 1/2 lemons quartered
handful chopped parsley
sea salt & freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 180°C
Put the peppers in the oven if not using roasted ones in a jar. Leave for 30 mins while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Once roasted peel the skin off, cut and de seed.
Brush the chicken thighs lightly with olive oil and season. Fry them skin side down in batches in a frying or griddle pan, skin side down first until golden, then turning them, approximately 7 minutes. Set aside.
In a large paella pan (42 cm is suitable when cooking for 10), fry the onions in a splash of olive oil until translucent. Add chorizo, then garlic, keep stirring for approximately 5 mins. Add rice and stir for a couple more minutes, sprinkle strands of saffron. Pour in the stock gradually, add tomato puree and stir. Place the chicken thighs around the outside of the pan, dot the slices of peppers. If you don’t have a cover for your pan, put a large piece of foil over it and simmer for 15 minutes, occasionally stirring the rice to cook evenly. Add more stock if the rice is looking dry.
Sprinkle the prawns with olive oil, paprika and seasoning and place around the pan together with the clams. Cover again and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the prawns are pink, clams all open. Make sure the chicken is cooked through by inserting a knife in the thickest part and juices run clear. Don’t worry if the rice is sticking to the bottom of the pan, this crusty bit is meant to be the best part. Take the foil off, scatter the peas and cook for another 5 minutes before taking off the heat and rest covered for 5-10 minutes. Scatter a handful of chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
If you are keen, keep the prawn shells, head and tail to make stock for next time by cooking them with a chopped onion then adding 2 ltrs of water, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 mins. Strain and store/freeze.
Scale down the recipe and cook in a smaller pan for less people. Its also delicious the next day if you have any left over but we never do!
Approximate cost £31.50 (only £3.50 per head)