Many a heated debate has taken place over what exactly constitutes a proper paella. However, the experienced traveller and cook will discover that there are almost as many versions of the dish as there are people who enjoy cooking it. This particular recipe includes ingredients from both land and sea – a combination that is very popular in Spain as well as other parts of the world – and makes for a tasty and satisfying meal.
Recipe from Tutto Food Co.
Seafood and chicken paella with chorizo
- 120ml olive oil
- 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 10ml (2 tsp) tomato paste
- salt, to taste
- 400g tomatoes, diced and peeled
- 800ml good quality vegetable stock
- 2,5ml (½ tsp) saffron threads
- 400g bomba rice
- 10ml (2 tsp) paprika
- handful fresh thyme sprigs
- 150g calamari, cleaned, rinsed and sliced into 1cm-thick rings
- 250g skinned and deboned chicken thighs, cut into even, bite-size pieces
- 150g cooking chorizo, sliced into
- 5mm-thick rounds
- 12 king prawns, cleaned and left whole
- 300g red peppers (like piquillo peppers), grilled, skinned and sliced into 1cm-thick strips
- lemon wedges, to serve
- good handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, to serve
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Begin by making the sofrito – the aromatic base of the paella. Place the paella pan on a gas stove or burner on a medium-low heat. Add 80ml of the olive oil and gently fry the onion until it becomes soft and translucent but not brown. Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
Add the tomato paste and a pinch of salt, and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the chopped and peeled tomatoes, turn the heat back up to medium and allow to cook down for approximately 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until you have a thick, rich sofrito. Pour the mixture into a dish, being sure to scrape as much out of the pan as possible, and set aside.
Bring the stock to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the saffron threads and remove the pan from the heat immediately. This will allow the colour and flavour of the saffron to infuse the hot liquid.
Pour 20ml of the olive oil into the empty paella pan and toast the rice with the paprika and a pinch of salt over medium heat until the rice is well coated, continuously moving it around quickly so that it does not burn.
Add the sofrito to the rice, briefly mixing it through the rice before adding the stock and thyme. Bring the liquid to a boil and evenly distribute the rice. Try not to stir the rice after this point as it can take on a porridge-like consistency.
When the stock is boiling, add the calamari, chicken pieces and chorizo, and turn the heat down low. Continue to simmer for about 5 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through. You may need to turn your pan throughout this time to ensure even cooking, depending on the heat distribution of your plate. Check throughout that the rice is not catching anywhere – if it is, quickly scrape that area with a wooden spoon or stainless steel lifter to free the rice from the bottom.
Scatter the prawns and peppers over the top, and place the pan in the oven for about 12 minutes, checking on it once or twice during this time and adding a little more liquid if it appears too dry.
Remove the pan from the oven and season to taste. The rice should be cooked but firm and should have formed a light crust at the bottom of the pan.
Drizzle over the last 20ml of olive oil and allow the paella to rest for about 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges, a generous scattering of parsley and a glass of good wine.
If you cannot find paella rice you can use ordinary medium grain rice as an alternative. A nice crust is often thought of as the sign of a good paella, although some people prefer the dish to be a little more moist. This depends entirely on your personal preference – the main point is that you enjoy it!