Quorn Meat-free Chicken & Red Pepper Paella
Although Vegetarian paellas can be really tasty, this also gives the chance for "Veggie" diners to enjoy a more traditional chicken paella, by using Quorn® Meat Free fillets (or pieces). We have been experimenting with different combinations and have arrived with a dish that both my vegetarian and meat loving family find delicious.
This is a recipe for about 4 servings that can be easily cooked for an evening meal, regardless of the time of year. This paella was cooked on our amazing LotusGrill BBQ which is perfect for this size pan. You can see our range of LotusGrill sets here
Quorn® "Chicken" & Roasted Red Pepper PaellaSERVES AROUND 4 PORTIONS, USE A 36CM-38CM PAELLA PAN
About 6 ( about 300g) Quorn® "Chicken" Meat Free Fillets (or any other meat-free chicken replacements)
1 litre Vegetable Stock (2 Vegetable Stock pots or other brand)
100g Green or French Beans ( chopped in 2-3cm lengths)
1 litre of Vegetable Stock ( 1.2l for Bomba Rice)
1/4 teaspoon of Marmite (don't worry if you are not a marmite fan, you won't taste it !!)
1 sachet of Carmencita Paella Seasoning
Extra virgin olive oil
Sprig of Rosemary
1 lemon (cut into wedges for decoration)
Step 1 - Make up the stock
First make up the stock by dissolving 1 or 2 vegetable stock cubes (or Knorr stock pots) in a litre of boiling water. Adding a dash of marmite to gives the stock a slight meaty taste. Don't worry if you are not a Marmite fan, you will not notice it !. If you want, you can also add a small pinch of saffron at this stage to infuse in the stock. Taste for seasoning, It should be quite salty, but usually the stock cubes provide enough salt,
Step 2 - Fry the Quorn Pieces add the "Sofrito"
Heat a few tablespoons of the olive oil in the Paella Pan. Slice and part cook the Quorn® pieces, sprinkled with a little salt, until slightly browned . Because there is little fat in the Quorn® fillets you have to cook them over quite a high heat to brown.
You could also add 200g of sliced vegetarian chorizo sausage (The Linda McCartney Vegetarian Chorizo and Red pepper sausages work very well for this)
Now we need to add the "Sofrito", one of the most important parts of the Paella, It is basically tomatoes (and sometimes onion) that have been fried down to a dark red paste. This traditionally was done by grating fresh tomatoes, but it is much easier by adding a few tablespoon of our Orlando Tomato Frito to the pan. Fry a little more, then mix with the rest of the "meat".
Step 3 - Season, Green beans & Stock
Once the ingredients are mixed thoroughly, add a spinkle of the Noras peppers or a sweet paprika, the green beans and about about half of the peppers. Mix around again and continue fry for few a minute more.
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 and add about half the sachet of paella seasoning into the stock.. Bring the stock to the boil.
Step 4 - Add the Rice
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 gently move some rice around the pan)
Step 5 - Cover, rest and enjoy
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 a lid or foil and turn up the heat for a minute maximum. (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", the caramelised rice on the bottom of the pan.