Meat,  Recipes

Chicken paella: a basic recipe for starters

Hello and welcome to Taste of Spain!

If you have made all the way to this page let me thank you very much. You are reading the very first recipe published in the blog. Surely it will not be the last one as more will follow on the days to come. At least, this is my intention.

And I could not have chosen a better one to begin. Paella is probably what most of you look for when visiting Spain. In fact, it is my favourite food, with special mention to my mum’s. But, guess what? You do not actually need to wait to travel to Spain before devouring one. It is so easy to cook that you just need to find the right time to do it. I just say the time because the ingredients are available in every British store.

Of course, here are a few tips. You can cook it with arborio (or rissoto) if you do not get hold of paella rice. Also, since saffron is quite expensive you can swap it for turmeric. As for the stock, it is ok to use concentrated cubes. The one used in this recipe, however, is made by myself and makes such a massive difference. Finally, a standard pan can replace a paella one in case you do not have it

INGREDIENTS (SERVES 4)

  • Paella rice (300 gr)
  • Chicken stock (900 ml)
  • Chicken wings (3-4 pieces, 6-8 after split)
  • Canned green beans (1/4 of the can)
  • Red pepper (half)
  • Medium onion (half)
  • Garlic (one clove)
  • Canned chopped tomato (3 tbsp)
  • Sweet paprika (1 teaspoon)
  • Turmeric (1 teaspoon)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Olive oil

DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING

  1. Start by splitting the chicken wings in two pieces each and slicing the garlic clove. Then, heat up some olive oil at high heat in the paella pan. Add the garlic, cook for 20 seconds and finally add the chicken. Add salt and pepper, sear every side and put apart when it is golden brown (takes about 6 minutes)

2. Now let’s make the sofrito (vegetable base). Reduce the heat to medium-low. In the same oil, dump both onion and pepper already diced and cook until soft. After that, add the tomato tablespoons and a pinch of salt. Mix and cook for about five minutes.

3. Add the rice and mix it with the sofrito. Cook it for 5 minutes so it absorbs the flavour. Finish this step by sprinkling the turmeric and the sweet paprika. Cook for no more than 30 seconds. Be careful because paprika burns easily.

4. Spread the rice evenly across the pan and drop the chicken stock. Return the chicken pieces making sure they sink under the liquid so the inside cooks. Also add the green beans all over the area. Once the boiling begins, leave it for 10 minutes at high heat and then bring it down to medium for about 8. At this stage, regularly check the rice is appropriately tender, but do not stir it unless strictly necessary. Ideally, you would not need any more salt either, but. you can add some if after tasting you feel it is falling short.

5. After 18 minutes of cooking 3/4 of the chicken stock should be gone. Here you have two options: put it in the oven for a final dry or send it straight to rest. If you choose the first option, preheat at 160 celsius and bake for five minutes. Then take it out, cover with a clean kitchen cloth and let it sit for five minutes. You can skip the oven and jump to this step. The difference? Your paella will be either dry or slightly creamy.

Now that you have cooked your chicken paella, move it to the table, serve… And enjoy!

Bon apetit.

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