Paella

Paella

Ingredients

Serves 4
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 fresh squid
  • 2 small picante chorizo sausages, skinned and cut into small pieces [approx. 150g]
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into small pieces
  • 100mls dry sherry
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 heaped tsp Spanish pimenton powder
  • 150g string-less, flat green beans, thinly sliced
  • 150g cooked sweet red peppers, thickly sliced1tsp saffron stamens
  • 600mls hot chicken stock
  • 300g Spanish bomba or Calasparra rice
  • 750g mussels, de-bearded

To finish the paella:

  • 2tbsp chopped parsley
  • 4-5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 lemons                  

Method

  1. Using a large paella pan [I use one that is supposed to be for 6, as I prefer the extra room in the pan], heat the oil and in it gently fry the chorizo until the fat runs. Lift it out with a slotted spoon and put onto a plate.
  2. Now introduce the seasoned squid into the same oil and very briefly fry until lightly coloured. Remove and slice into thin rings, set aside with the chorizo.
  3. Lightly season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, put the sherry, tomatoes, garlic and pimenton powder into a liquidizer, process until very smooth then, using a small ladle, push through a fine sieve into a bowl [discard solids].
  5. Once the chicken is well coloured add this tomato mixture to the pan and bring up to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomato mixture has thickened - almost to a thin purée and a bit oily in parts.
  6. Now add the beans and peppers to the pan, along with the chorizo and squid.  Carefully pour in the chicken stock and sprinkle over the saffron. Stir all together and bring up to a simmer once more.
  7. Sprinkle the rice into the liquid and stir in well, making sure that it is evenly distributed; once you have done this try not to stir the rice again. Cook the paella over a moderate heat for a good 20 minutes, or until you can see the rice puffing up.
  8. Now carefully push the mussels halfway into the rice hinge-side down, in any space you can fit them. Then cover with foil and put into the oven for 5 minutes at 180c.
  9. Meanwhile make the paella dressing by mixing together the garlic, parsley and olive oil in a bowl.
  10. Once the mussels have steamed through, remove the foil from the paella and drizzle over the dressing and a good squeeze of lemon juice.
  11. Serve directly from the pan onto very hot plates; remember, rice dishes cool quickly. Dig deep to discover the sticky, golden and a touch toasty rice in the bottom of the pan. This is called 'socorat', the best bit of the paella and highly prized. Add a quarter of lemon to each plate and enjoy!