Spain is an awesome country to visit with an outstanding tradition of great food. Since coming back I have purchased a paella pan and experimented with a couple of recipies. So far this one has worked out the best.
This is a modified version of a recipe posted by Brigitte Hafner
on The Age
As the eternal search for perfect paella continues so will changes to this recipe
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 6 chicken thighs on the bone
- 6 prawns, shelled and deveined (leave on tail section)
- 2 dried chorizo sausages, sliced
- salt and pepper
- 1 medium onion chopped into fine 1/4 rings
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 red capsicum and 1/2 green capsicum, diced (sophrito)
- 1/4 red capscicum in slivers
- 2 tomatoes, skinned, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 tsp saffron
- 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 150g green peas
- 150g green beans cut in half then into 4cm pieces
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 400g Calasparra rice
- 2 lemons, cut into wedges
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
The sofrito should have a concentrated flavour and pulpy consistency. You can prepare it up to a day ahead.
- Add 3 tbsps oil to the pan and when hot, add the chopped onion.
- Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until the onion has softened and is golden.
- Add the garlic, cook for a couple of minutes
- Add the capsicum and cook for five minutes or until lightly coloured and softened.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, season liberally with salt and pepper and cook slowly until the sofrito has reduced and there is no liquid left. This should all take about 45 minutes.
- Gently heat the saffron in a small saucepan for a minute, until it becomes fragrant, but be careful as it burns very easily. Remove from the heat, crush with the back of a spoon. Add 1/2 cup of stock to the same pan and leave to infuse.
- Heat the paella pan then add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the chicken thighs and cook 3-5 minutes. Add chorizo. Season well with salt and pepper and cook until brown all over. Remove the chicken and chorizo to a bowl. If not already prepared now make the sofrito in the same pan.
- Add the remaining stock to the infused stock and heat.
- Put the paella pan back on a medium heat. Add the sofrito if prepared earlier.
- Add the chicken, chorizo, capsicum slithers and paprika and cook, stirring for a couple of minutes.
- Add the hot infused stock (reserve ~200ml), peas, beans and rosemary and bring to the boil. Taste the mixture and add salt & pepper as required.
- Pour in the rice, stir to distribute and bring to the boil. Stir briefly then turn to a low heat. Do not stir any more.
- Cook the paella for 5-7 mintues then gently push the prawns into the rice so they are covered by stock.
- Cook the paella a further 10-11 minutes or until the rice is plump and almost soft - it should be a little resilient. Reserved stock or water can be added if the rice needs a little longer.
- Turn the heat to high and cook for a couple of minutes. Any remaining liquid will boil away and a crust will form on the bottom of the pan.
- Remove from the heat and cover with a tea towel for 10 minutes, then uncover and leave to rest for another 5-10 minutes before serving.
- Squeeze over the lemon juice and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve directly from the pan.