I have cooked a fair few Paellas, most of which are usually Seafood based so this came as a welcome change, especially in the winter months when all you want is a warming bowl full of loveliness. The idea from the recipe comes from the Spanish Kitchen in Beverley who specialize in fantastic quality spices and authentic Spanish cookware, unfortunately I am yet to purchase a true Paella pan but this dish works so well with a frying pan, an item in the kitchen that I suspect most of you will have. As per usual I have tweaked the recipe to achieve maximum flavour from my ingredients. For those of you who have not tried Chorizo yet I urge you to try it, it brings life to the most bland food, quality does tend to vary.
I was fortunate enough to get hold of authentic Spanish Chorizo from Brindisa at Borough market, if you can get hold of the real Mc coy it is definitely worth the extra money. I have also used Chicken thighs on the bone because there is so much flavour in the bones it would be a total travesty not to get the most out of that. This is a dish to be enjoyed on a cold evening with a dollop of aioli and a huge glass of Rioja. Heaven!
You will need:
250g of Bomba paella rice
200g of fresh chorizo picante
4 large chicken thighs with the bone in, cut in half
1 red pepper cut into strips
2 tbsp of olive oil
500ml of fresh chicken stock (readily available at all supermarkets, homemade is better)
1 tsp of freshly chopped oregano
0.4g of saffron strands
3 finely chopped shallots
2 tsp of spanish sweet smoked paprika
50g of finely chopped garlic
12 halved cherry tomatoes (they are sweeter and break down quickly)
1 tsp of salt
4 tbsp of frozen peas
4 tbsp of chopped parsley
the juice one a quarter of a lemon
In a large Frying pan start by frying the shallots and peppers in the olive oil, when they are starting to soften add the chorizo, when the chorizo has leaked its ruby oil into the pan fry the chicken thighs in the oil to soak up the flavour of the chorizo. Add the paprika, chopped oregano and chopped garlic, when the garlic has softened and mellowed add the rice and allow each grain to become slicked with the chorizo oil.
In a saucepan heat the stock until simmering and add the saffron into the stock to extract maximum flavour from the strands. Pour the hot stock onto the rice and add the cherry tomatoes and the salt, give it one last stir.
Allow to bubble gently for 20-25 mins with a piece of parchment paper on the top to help the rice to cook evenly, do not worry if a crust if beginning to form on the bottom that is supposed to happen and is often the most prized part of a paella to most spaniards.
When the rice has cooked turn off the heat and stir through the peas and parsley, lastly spritz the grains of rice with the lemon and serve with a huge dollop of aioli.