Ok, so this isn’t technically paella. For one, it isn’t cooked in a paella pan. It also doesn’t have any fish in it as that would make my face swell up and I’d stop breathing. So it’s more like paella rice and things. But all the same, it uses Spanish ingredients and flavours and goes brilliantly with a nice glass of Rioja (or two).
1 skinless chicken breast, diced
1 red (bell) pepper, chopped
1 large white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 chorizo ring, sliced
Approx 250g paella rice
1/2 pint Chicken stock
1 small tin chopped tomatoes or one large fresh tomato, chopped
2 teaspoons sweet/smoked paprika or pimienton
1 teaspoon hot paprika or pimienton (optional)
2 bay leaves
Handful Frozen peas
- Heat oven to approx 200c (190c if fan assisted).
- In a wok or sauté pan, fry the chorizo on a medium-high heat until the fat starts to come out. You shouldn’t need to add any additional fat or oil but if you do, use a drizzle of olive oil.
- Next add your chicken and brown.
- Add the pepper, onions and garlic and cook until softened.
- While the veg is softening, add the bay leaves to the pan. Make up your chicken stock and add the saffron strands into the stock. The saffron will release its flavour into the stock.
- Now add the paella rice, and the paprika/pimienton and stir together, making sure the paprika coats all of the rice.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and the chicken stock and stir together.
- Add the frozen peas. I’ve suggested a handful but you can add as many as you like. If you don’t like peas you could substitute these with chickpeas.
- Reduce the heat and cook for approx 5 mins, stirring occasionally to stop it sticking. Once the liquid has begun to reduce, tip your paella into an ovenproof dish with a lid.
- Cook for approx 20 mins in the oven with the lid on, until the rice is soft and the edges of your paella are going a little bit crispy. You may want to stir it halfway through to make sure all the rice is fully cooked.
- Remove the bay leaves (and don’t be tempted to lick them, I did this once and it wasn’t good!)
This recipe is very versatile and you can change the quantities of the ingredients quite easily. I sometimes like to mix up different chorizos in my paella to give different flavours. Our local Sainsbury’s sells sweet (dolce) and hot (picante) chorizo so I’ll often add a bit of each. My recipe only uses one chicken breast but you can add two if you want more protein. If I fancy a spicy paella (which isn’t the traditional flavour) I add more hot pimienton. You could also add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice before serving.