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Chicken and Chorizo Paella

By April 07, 2015 , , , ,

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 ingreditents. 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 raw chicken thighs skin removed 
2  cloves garlic chopped
100g chorizo sausage sliced
200g paella rice
100g tinned tomatoes
10g tomato purée
2g saffron soaked in 10ml water
100ml madeira wine
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
400ml chicken stock
sprig thyme
bay leaf
1 onion finely chopped
1/2 stick celery finely chopped
1/2 carrot finely chopped
Juice of 1/4 lemon
Salt and pepper to season
Oil for frying

Sauté the onion, celery and carrot until soft 
Add the garlic and chorizo and fry off until the chorizo starts to release its oils
Add the tomato purée and the smoked paprika and cook for 1-2 mins
Add the Madeira and on a high heat reduce by half
Next add the tomatoes
You can then add the rice and stir for 1 min
Place the chicken thighs in the pan and pour over the chicken stock, add the thyme and the bay leaf
Give the pan a quick stir and them leave on a gentle heat for 30 mins
I like to leave the pan in the middle of the table and people help themselves
You don't have to limit yourself to just chicken and chorizo, you can add ingreditents such as rabbit (add at the same time as the chicken), prawns (add about 5-7 mins near the end of cooking) and any veg that you like (again adding 5-10 mins from the end depending on how al-dente you like your veg).
Instead of using raw chicken thighs you can also use leftover roast chicken, just chop the meat up and add 15 mins before the end of cooking.
This dish also works well on a bbq as it will infuse with the smoky flavours from the coals

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