Paella

Late last year I saw a quick-and-easy paella being made on a TV show. Thinking it didn’t look too hard, I tried using the same recipe and came out with a tasty bunch of chicken and chorizo with cooked vegetables and half-cooked rice.

My second attempt was to ditch that recipe and opt for something from somewhere on the www. There are about as many paella recipes as there are grains of rice in Spain so it was a matter of choosing one and running with it. This second recipe was an improvement over the first but I can’t remember where I got the recipe.

It’s time for paella again tonight so I’ve been checking the options for the correct ratio of stock to rice. A fairly safe ratio seems to be two to one by volume: a cup of rice (around 200g) to 2 cups of water (500ml).

A basic (and made-up from my head) recipe seems to be:

  1. Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a pan.
  2. Add 1 or 2 chopped chorizo and fry. This will render out the fat in the chorizo.
  3. Cut up and fry some chicken breast or thigh. Around 3-500g should suffice.
  4. When close to cooked, remove the chicken and chorizo.
  5. Add garlic, carrot, onion, capsicum and other vegetables.
  6. Add tomato paste/passata.
  7. Fry until close to cooked. This is the sofrito and provides most of the flavour.
  8. Return the chicken and chorizo to the pan.
  9. Add one cup of calasparra/paella rice and stir to coat it in the oil and flavour.
  10. Add two cups of stock.
  11. Stir to ensure all of the rice is below the level of the stock.
  12. Don’t stir the bottom layer again as this hopefully cooks into a crust called the socarrat.
  13. Cover the pan.
  14. Cook for around 15 minutes until the rice is just about cooked.
  15. Add a cup of frozen peas.
  16. Leave for a couple of minutes and then turn off the heat.
  17. Leave for 5-10 minutes to complete the cooking.
 
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