This is my second attempt at cooking my favourite family dish: Paella. I mentioned it before, the dish Mum makes most often at home in the South of France (for most family events and celebrations) is a traditional Spanish paella. My Spanish grand-mother (Dad’s mum) taught Mum to make it when she married Dad 40 years ago. The recipe has been passed down generation to generation for a long long time. Today I feel a bit like a fraud because I took a shortcut. But guess what! I have no shame, because it was a huge success – the flavours were all there – so I want to share it with you so you too can make it at home! I called this recipe Paella Express because I used Tefal Cook4Me (pressure cooker) to cook it. But if you don’t have a pressure cooker, not to worry. you can simply make the dish in a normal pan (preferably directly in a paella pan if you have one), you will just have to increase the cooking time for the rice.
To make paella it’s important not to use arborio rice (used for risotto), or your paella will be soggy. The great thing about paella is that there are no rules when it comes to the other ingredients – you can use different types of meat (chicken, pork or even rabbit!). I don’t eat sea food (shell-fish) so I tend to not put much of it in mine, but mum always adds mussels and squids in hers. Baby octopus too. You can also add a handful or two of green peas as well as roasted capsicums to make it a little healthier.
Ingredients (for 2 people)
- 120 g long grain rice
- 100 g chicken thighs (diced)
- 100 g prawn
- 1 chorizo
- 1 brown onion (thinly diced)
- 1 clove of garlic (thinly diced)
- 1 tsp paella spice mix (alternatively you can use turmeric to give paella its yellow colour)
- 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
- 120 ml stock
- 1 red capsicum (sliced)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt, pepper
- Heat olive oil. Cook whole prawns until just cooked through; remove and set aside.
- Add the diced chicken, brown for a few minutes. Set aside.
- Add onion and garlic, cook until softened; add paprika and cook for a further 30 seconds.
- Add rice and stir to coat. Add sliced capsicum and cook for 1 or 2 minutes.
- Pour in the stock and stir to combine.
- Add turmeric (or paella spice mix), salt, pepper and the browned chicken. (do not add the prawns)
- Close lid and program to pressure cooking mode for 12 minutes.
- Once cooked, arrange in a paella pan and place the prawn on top. Sprinkle fresh parsley for a touch of colour.
The rice should be firm (al dente) and rather dry (unlike risotto).
Have you ever made Paella?
Don’t forget to let me know if you do try this recipe, I’d love to know what you thought! Please use the hashtag #mslimalicious on social media (Instagram, Twitter) so I get the notification!