Chicken & Red Pepper Paella
This is a great Paella to start with and a good base for experimenting. I have cooked this paella so many times. Its great because its simple, very tasty and doesn't contain any seafood (although you could add some if you want).
I have done step-by-step instructions that show you the basics for cooking an easy paella.
Chicken & Roasted Red Pepper PaellaSERVES AROUND 8 PORTIONS, USE A 50CM PAELLA PAN
- About 800g Chicken Meat (Leg, Thigh or Breast meat diced into bite-size pieces - keep the skin & bone on for extra flavour)
- 800g Spanish Paella Rice (Bahia, Maratelli or Bomba)
- 250g Chopped Runner beans or French Beans
- 3-4 large ripe tomatoes or a large tin of chopped tomatoes & 1/2 Medium onion, finely chopped or (3-4 tablespoon of Tomato Frito)
- About 2 litres of chicken & vegetable Stock ( 3l for Bomba Rice)
- Pinch of Saffron
- 1 tsp of Sweet Paprika (Pimenton Dulce) & a sprinkle of chopped Nora Peppers
- 1 Red pepper (sliced & roasted if possible) or a jar of Roasted Red peppers
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sprig of Rosemary
- 1 lemon (cut into wedges for decoration)
Heat a few tablespoons of the olive oil in the Paella Pan and part cook the chicken pieces, sprinkled with salt, until browned. (longer if they contain bones).
You could also at this stage you could add 200g sliced cooking chorizo for an English adaptation of Paella and fry with the chicken.
(Quick Note: Adding chorizo is rather controversial for Paella purists and never seen in Spain. A true Paella Valenciana will use rabbit but It is very popular to see chorizo used in the UK. Personally, I think it works very well)
Make up the stock and add a good pinch of the saffron stamens. Let them infuse for about 15 mins.
Push the meat to the outside of the pan
To make the "Sofrito", one of the most important parts of the Paella, first sweat the onion in the Paella Pan until soft.
Then add the chopped tomatoes and fry over a medium heat. Keep stirring. As the mixture reduces, it will start to thicken up to a darker red paste.
If you don't want to do this - try using a few tablespoons of our Tomato Frito
Bring the meat back to the middle of the pan and mix thoroughly with the sofrito. Add the paprika & Noras, beans and about half of the peppers. Mix around again and continue fry for few more minutes.
Now add the stock to the paella pan to "deglaze" the pan and get all the cooking flavours off the bottom. Taste for seasoning. It needs to be quite well salted, but if using stock cubes, then you will probably not need any extra salt. Mix around in the pan.
Bring to the boil and leave for several minutes for all the flavours to mix in with the stock.
Now add the rice, mix around briefly and gently to try and even out the rice ensuring all the rice grains are under the surface of the liquid. DO NOT STIR the rice after this.
After about 10 minutes the rice should start to appear though the liquid. Now turn down the heat and continue to gentle simmer for about another 10 minutes until the rice starts to dry out. (If some rice starts to appear whilst other areas still have liquid you can carefully move some rice around the pan with the skimmer)
Once most of the liquid has been absorbed, try the rice from under the top surface. It should be cooked "al dente" still with a slight nutty taste.
Now cover the Paella pan with foil and turn up the heat for a minute or so. (You will hear the rice "pop" as it is caramelising on the bottom of the pan). This is called the "Socarrat" the most highly prized part of Paella. Covering the pan at this stage also helps finish off the cooking of the top layer of rice.
Turn off the heat. Decorate with lemon wedges, the remaining red peppers and the sprig of rosemary.
Recover and leave for a good 10 minutes to rest.
Serve directly from the pan remembering to scrape to the bottom to get the "socarrat"