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By March 18, 2022 , , , ,

Paella is a dish that is versatile and moves with the seasons, it can be meat, veg or fish based or all three. It's a great dinner party dish. I first ate Paella in France about 22 years ago. An odd place to first eat Spanish food but it was cooked by a couple of Spanish guys. During my years at university some friends had a year out in Rennes, so I spent a lot of time going over and back visiting them. 

During this time the people I met came from all over Europe and we often got together to eat at one another's apartments. I used to look forward to going to the Spaniards for dinner as they would cook these amazing paellas on huge pan with all sorts of ingredients. It was placed in the middle of the table and everyone helped themselves.

The market in Rennes (back then, not sure what it is like now) was an every day market and you were spoilt for choice for fresh and seasonal ingredients. I used to love wandering around planning my menu for the evening as I saw what was available that day in the market.

So here's my trip down memory lane.

4 rabbit legs or if you can't easily get rabbit, chicken thighs on the bone will suffice
2 cloves garlic chopped
100g chorizo sausage sliced
200g paella rice
100g tinned tomatoes or three fresh tomatoes finely chopped
10g tomato purée
2g saffron soaked in 10ml water
50ml madeira wine or 50ml white wine
400ml chicken/veg or fish stock
3 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 onion finely chopped
10 ml lemon juice
Salt and pepper to season
Oil for frying

Fry off the onion and garlic in the oil on a low heat until soft 
Add the chorizo and fry off until the chorizo starts to release its oils
Add the tomato purée and cook for 1-2 mins
Add the Madeira or wine and cook on a high heat for 1 minute
Next add the tomatoes and the rice and stir for 1 min
Place the rabbit in the pan and pour over the chicken stock, add the thyme and the bay leaf
Give the pan a quick stir and then leave on a gentle heat for 30 - 40 minutes 
Season to taste and serve
This dish also works well on the BBQ as it will infuse with the smoky flavours from the coals
Set your BBQ up for indirect cooking at 150c and cook for 30 - 40 minutes
I like to leave the pan in the middle of the table and people help themselves

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