EASY SEAFOOD PAELLA
They say sharing is caring, but if it were up to us we’d keep the leftovers from this paella recipe all to ourselves. That’s not really in the spirit of Spain’s national cuisine though, which along with dishes like tapas, celebrates a sense of community at mealtimes; gathering, savouring and yes, sharing.
Traditionally, paella is cooked over an open fire fuelled by aromatic pine and orange branches as well as pine cones; the fragrant smoke infusing flavour into the dish. But don’t worry, this paella recipe will turn out just fine from your own kitchen. It’s the perfect one-pot crowd pleaser for the upcoming autumn months, and a great way to savour the last of summer’s gorgeous seafood.
6 free-range chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
100 g quality chorizo
4 cloves of garlic
½ a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
6 rashers of higher-welfare pancetta or smoked streaky bacon
2 litres organic chicken stock
2 large pinches of saffron
1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika
500 g paella rice
2 small squid, from sustainable sources, optional
2 handfuls of fresh or frozen peas
10 large raw shell-on king prawns, from sustainable sources
500 g mussels, (cleaned) from sustainable sources, optional
1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5.
2. Quarter each piece of chicken, then season with sea salt and black pepper and dust with flour.
3. Heat a splash of oil in a large, deep pan on a medium heat and fry the chicken until golden brown all over, then transfer to a baking tray and place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
4. Meanwhile, slice the chorizo, peel and finely chop the onion and garlic, and pick and finely chop the parsley leaves, finely chopping the stalks.
5. Put the pan back on the heat, add the sliced chorizo and pancetta or bacon and fry until browned and crispy. Add the onion, garlic and parsley stalks, then cook until soft.
6. Meanwhile, gently heat the chicken stock and infuse half with the saffron.
7. Add the smoked paprika, the rice and infused stock to the pan and leave to cook on a medium heat for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
8. Meanwhile, halve the squid and lightly score all over with a regular eating knife (if using).
9. When the time’s up, add the remaining stock, peas, prawns, and the mussels and squid (if using). Place a lid on the pan and cook for 10 further minutes.
10. Finally, add the cooked chicken, sprinkle over the chopped parsley and serve with wedges of lemon for squeezing over.
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