Roast Chicken Paella – This is my version of a paella. It’s a bit more like a risotto than a paella to be honest but I think it works pretty well. You could call it a Paesotto or a Risaella. 🙂 Try not to forget the Chorizo. I seem to have some sort of Chorizo mental block at the moment and I normally remember about halfway through cooking it…
Paella rice Bomba is probably the easiest to come by.
Chicken Leg and Thighs about 750 grams for 3-4 people – Free Range if you can.
Small shrimps / prawns 250 grams
Onion 2 small or one large onion will be plenty. Finely chopped. Check out my tips and techniques section if you’re not sure of the best way to finely chop an onion.
Chorizo about 7 inches or so. Diced.
Garlic 3 cloves. Just peel them but don’t chop them.
2 Peppers Any colour really. Red and green work well. Diced, about 1 cm ish cubes.
2 Courgettes Diced, about 1 cm ish cubes.
Mushrooms whatever you can find or whatever’s on offer really. Chestnut mushrooms work well tho. Sliced
Cherry Tomatoes cut in half, a good handfull
Parmesan Fresh stuff please. The pre grated stuff is never the same and not much difference in price. Parmigiano Reggiano is the best but more expensive. Parmigiano Grana Padano is generally cheaper but not quite as nice.
Saffron if you can. Just one or two pinches, depending on how lavish you feel!
White Wine – Pinot Grigio is nice with this. Try and make sure it’s drinkable.
Then you can drink some as you cook! Yey!
Salt and Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
750 ml of Stock Chicken or Vegetable stock. If you don’t have any home made stuff in the freezer then use a stock cube or if you can afford it one of those cartons of real stock or something similar. Bring this to a gentle simmer in a sauce pan.
Butter Proper butter please. None of this spread crap. If you eat healthily I don’t see any problem with using proper butter.
1. Get a large frying pan with a thick bottom. If you don’t have one of these just use a large sauce pan. If you have a proper paella pan then all the better. Get on a medium – high heat, let the pan heat up then add bit of vegetable oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper then add to the pan and fry off for about 2 mins on each side. You just want to bring some colour to the chicken. Once you’ve done this put the chicken into an oven dish pour about a glass of white wine over the chicken and put in the oven on about 180°C.
2. Now pour off any excess oil carefully from the frying pan. You might have some residual bits of chicken and crispy bits which you want to keep. Turn down the heat slightly. Once you’ve done this add some good olive oil and add the whole garlic cloves and Chorizo, fry off for a few mins then add the onion. Keep the onions moving about and cook gently for about 5-6 mins. You want the onions for soften and go a bit translucent. The onions will pick up colour and flavour from the Chorizo so they will go an orangy red colour. This is good.
3. Now add the chopped peppers and stir around gently for about 3 mins then add the courgettes. Again cook for a few mins so the courgette softens a bit. Now add a teaspoon of Turmeric and half a teaspoon of Paprika, salt and pepper then mix well for about 1 min. The mixture will go a yellow orange colour. (pantone 124) 😉
4. Turn up the heat slightly then add about 3 handfuls of rice and stir well into the mixture. Keep it moving around for about 1 min then add a glass and a half of wine. The pan will bubble and sizzle. You want to cook off the wine but while it’s doing this stir the mixture constantly while the wine is reducing. This will release the starch from the rice which will help it go creamy.
5. Now add 3-4 ladles of stock to the mixture and stir for about 1 min then allow to come to a gentle simmer and turn down the heat just so it’s bubbling gently. We’re going to be cooking this for about 25-30 mins from the point you put the stock in.
6. Keep stirring gently every 5 mins to strop it sticking too much. The liquid at this first stage will reduce over about 10-15 mins or so. Once it has almost gone add another ladle or two to the pan and stir. You want to cook the rice so it has a slight bite to it. Make sure you try it each time before you add any more liquid to see how the rice is. If you do it this way you can add a bit of liquid at a time so you don’t end up with it too runny or over cooked.
7. Now, in a separate frying pan bring to a medium to height heat and add the mushrooms, keep moving around for about 3 mins then add some butter salt and pepper. Now add the prawns and a splash of lemon juice. Fry this off for about 3 mins then add to the pan with the paella in. At this point chuck in the cherry tomatoes and stir.
8. Right, now hunt down the 3 whole garlic cloves in the pan and mash them up with a fork and stir through into the paella, they should be all soft and sweet and yummy. Now grab the chicken out of the oven pour out the excess liquid into a cup or something and leave the chicken covered somewhere to cool slightly.
9. Get a handful of parsley and roughly chop. Slice a couple of wedges of lemon. Now add about half a cup of the liquid you poured out from the chicken into the paella a squeeze of lemon juice and the parsley. Add a hand full of Parmesan and about four good knobs of butter. Take off the heat and cover with a lid or some foil. Let this sit for about 3 mins. Remove the lid then stir paella well to mix in all the stuff you’ve just added. Now taste and add a bit more pepper and salt if needed. Check the consistency of the paella. I kind of like it slightly less liquid than a risotto but not as dry as maybe a traditional paella. If it seems a bit dry then add a tiny bit more of the liquid from the chicken. Now grab the chicken pieces and arrange over the pan and serve with a nice salad and some bread.
I think traditionally just before you serve you would put the pan into the oven with the chicken on top on high heat for a bout 5-6 mins so the top of the rice goes a bit crispy but you might not have a suitable pan or a big enough oven so if you can do this give it a try but don’t worry about it too much. Like I said this is more like a risotto.
Hope you enjoy. Any comments or questions add them below. Sorted.