Paella recipe from Chef's Warehouse

This traditional Spanish rice dish is meant to be shared amongst friends

Our editor went on a cooking course at the Chef's Warehouse, one of the things she learnt to make was this paella.

“In Spain, the men make the paella for the ladies much like in England they carve the Sunday roast or here in SA they braai,” says owner and head chef, Liam Tomlin.

Ingredients
250g Fresh black mussels
50 ml White wine
750ml Chicken stock (basic recipe 01)
Pinch of saffron thread
1 Large sprig of fresh thyme
2 Garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
50g Chorizo, diced into 1cm cubes
¾ tblsp Paprika
½ tblsp Dried oregano
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
400g Rice
2 Pieces of orange zest
4 Chicken thighs
8 Prawns in the shell
60g Peas, blanched and refreshed
1 Small bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Method
Scrub and de-beard the mussels. Rinse them under cold, running water to remove any sand and grit. Discard any broken mussels. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Cut each prawn in half, remove and discard the dark vein. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Bring the wine to the boil in a shallow saucepan, add the mussels, cover and bring back to the boil. Add 300ml of the chicken stock and cook for 3-4 minutes until the mussels open, taking care not to overcook them. Remove from the heat and tip them into a colander placed in a bowl to catch all of the stock. Cover the mussels with a damp cloth and set aside until ready to use. Pass the stock through a fine chinois and add to the remaining chicken stock.

Place a paella pan or shallow casserole dish over a medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, add the chorizo and fry, stirring until just coloured. Add the paprika, saffron, oregano chilli flakes, onion and garlic. Stir and cook for 3 minutes until the onion and garlic are softened, then add the rice, continue to cook and stir for a further 3 minutes.

Pour in the stock and stir in the orange zest, sofrito and lightly season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and cook the paella uncovered for 15 – 18 minutes. From this point onwards, do not stir the paella, as a crust needs to form on the bottom of the pan. If the flame or element is too small to cover the base of the pan, move the pan around during cooking to allow the paella to cook evenly.

While the paella is cooking, cook the chicken thighs. Lightly season the chicken with salt, freshly ground pepper and paprika. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy based saucepan over a medium heat. Place the chicken skin side down in the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes until evenly browned. Turn the chicken over and cook for a further 2 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the paella, placing the pieces evenly around the
pan.

When the majority of the stock has been absorbed and small holes appear between the rice (this will take 12 minutes), place the prawns on top and allow the escaping steam to gently cook them. Cook for a few minutes until the shells take on a light orange colour then turn and cook the other side of the prawn. Add the peas and cook for a further 5 minutes, spread the mussels evenly over the top of the paella. Remove the paella from the heat and cover with aluminium foil and allow the steam from the paella to finish cooking the rice and to reheat the mussels gently so they stay nice and moist.

Just before serving remove the foil and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Stir the chopped parsley through the paella and serve.

Another Spanish favourite are tapas. Make your own with this recipe for a Summer Tapas Board.

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