Paella is a Spanish, specifically Valencian, dish. Paella itself simply translates to “pan”, with Valencians using the word to describe all pans, with paellera describing the specific pan used for paella. Indeed, it is this large, steel double-handled pan which makes paella appear so inviting, particularly for large groups.
As with other recipes around the world, paella has expanded past its regional beginnings in Valencia and has become a wonderfully global dish, including a wide variety of meats (Although the classic Valencian paella only includes seafood), vegetables and other ingredients.
This recipe includes chicken and chorizo, as well as paprika, for a hearty Iberian flavour. This
dish is certainly a popular one in summer, and its flavours will take you to the sun-drenched shores of Spain. Take it to a party or share it with your family with some cold drinks on a hot summer’s evening: There’s little better in life than this!
As a last note, do not worry if a crust forms beneath the paella during cooking: This layer of toasted rice is, in fact, a delicacy! It’s referred to as socarrat in Catalan and some even consider it essential to a good paella! Just don’t let it burn!
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley (15g)
2 chicken thighs skin of bone out
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 red pepper
1 tbs Tomato puree
1 chicken stock cube
300g paella rice
100g frozen peas
200g frozen peeled cooked prawns
- Peel and finely slice the garlic, peel and roughly chop the onion and carrot. Finely chop the parsley stalks, then roughly chop the chorizo and chicken thighs.
- Put a lug of oil into a large lidded shallow casserole or paella pan on a medium heat, add the garlic, onion, carrot, parsley stalks, chorizo, chicken and paprika, and fry for around 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Deseed and chop the pepper, then add to the pan for a further 5 minutes.
- Stir through the tomato purée and crumble in the stock cube, then add the rice and stir for a couple of minutes so it starts to suck up all that lovely flavour.
- Pour in 750ml of boiling water and add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Pop the lid on and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly from the outside in and from the inside out, and adding a splash of water if needed.
- Stir in the peas and prawns, replace the lid, and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until hot through.
- Season to perfection, then chop the parsley leaves, scatter them over the paella, and serve with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over.
If you’re feeling a bit flush, adding six mussels, six clams and any extra bits of fish you can afford is only going to make it even more of a celebration.