Living on a Spanish island it seems reasonable to eat Paella occasionally however, I am not a great lover of fish or things that have tentacles and suckers or some of the shellfish that seem to take prominence in the paellas found in many restaurants so I end up making my own. I know there are many paella recipes and every cook has their own favourite but this is the recipe that I have adapted for our tastes.
Like everything I cook, it is quick, easy and flexible so if you don’t have the exact ingredients or if there is something you don´t like, substitute them.
If this were authentic paella the rice would be medium grain. Spanish rice is rounded and short; but as this is not an authentic paella, I use long grain rice. I generally cook a little more than I need and freeze the surplus so normally there is a box of cooked rice stored in the freezer. It is then just a case of defrosting the right amount for the quantity I am making. The following is enough to serve four people.300g long-grain rice cooked with a good pinch of coarse sea salt.
In a large frying pan if you don´t have a paella pan add 2 tbsp olive oil, then cook
220g chicken fillets, chopped coarsely
1 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 medium red pepper chopped
200g chorizo sliced
100g mushrooms sliced
2 medium tomatoes peeled, seeded, chopped finely
When all the ingredients are cooked, add the rice to the pan and mix well. Now add approx 60ml hot water and the next cheat ….. I don´t use a selection of spices but buy Mercadona’s own Preparado Paella which contains, turmeric, paprika, herbs, and sweet red pepper called ñora, this gives the authentic taste without the hassle.
The base for my paella is now ready and all I have to do is decide what else to add, it can be all or any of the following depending on your preferences (shelled prawns, clams, mussels, octopus, squid, crab) but should also have 125g frozen peas which make it a colourful and tempting dish to serve to guests.