When someone says “paella’”I immediately think of cooking 200 portions in one ginormous paella pan, which I do once a year at my kids’ Mangawhau School fair. I‘ve had to scale down original my recipe which included 18kg of Spanish “bomba” rice, 15kg of chicken, hundreds of mussels and prawns and a lot of tomatoes. The cooking takes about three hours. It’s a very social, fun occasion. This is my scaled-down version, just perfect for four. One of the secrets I’ve learnt over the years is not to stir the paella at all once everything has been added and it’s come to the boil. Turn the heat down and just leave it, the highly sought-after crust (known as the socarrat) that forms on the bottom adds a subtle smoky flavour to the whole dish and it is the best bit. A paella can be made simply or lavishly, depending on what seafood or meats you choose to add. There are no rules, just go for it.
|6 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|½ cup||Chorizo sausages, diced (Main)|
|4||Chicken drumsticks (Main)|
|½ cup||Diced onion|
|2 cloves||Garlic, grated|
|1||Red capsicum, deseeded and diced|
|1 ½ cups||Short grain rice, bomba, calasparra or arborio work well (Main)|
|1 cup||Tomato, diced|
|2 Tbsp||Chopped parsley|
|1 Tbsp||Chopped thyme|
|1 tsp||Chopped rosemary|
|1 tsp||Sweet smoked paprika|
|1 tsp||Saffron, or 1 tsp turmeric|
|1 sprinkle||White pepper, freshly ground, or use freshly ground black pepper|
|4 cups||Fish stock, chicken or vegetable stick|
|2 cups||Seafood, additional, mussels, prawns, scallops, fish|
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- In a large fry pan heat the olive oil, brown the chorizo on a high heat then set aside.
- Brown the chicken drumsticks and set aside. Add the onions and cook until they are softened then add garlic and red pepper and fry for a few minutes.
- Add rice, tomatoes, herbs, spices, salt and pepper, then add back the chorizo and chicken.
- Add 3 cups of hot stock and bring to the boil, gently stirring the rice for about 5 minutes. Turn heat down to medium then leave it to cook for 20 minutes without stirring.
- Add extra hot stock a little at a time if necessary to keep the rice submerged.
- After approximately 10-12 minutes sprinkle over the shrimps and decorate the top with additional seafood, then cover with a lid or foil.
- After 20 minutes, turn heat off, keep covered and allow to sit for a further 15 minutes. Garnish with extra chopped fresh herbs and lemon wedges to squeeze over.