Tuesday 7 February 2012

Chicken and seafood Paella

A trip to Spain two years back had me hooked to this classic spanish rice dish. Paella is a typical Spanish recipe and is traditionally cooked in a "paellera" - a round flat pan with two handles - which is then put on the table. I did not have this traditional cooking pan and as I was really keen to try it, I just went ahead and made it in a big kadhai. The great thing about this rice dish is that it is very flexible so even if you don't have the exact ingredients you can always substitute them for something similiar  but all paellas have rice, saffron, olive oil, and then add meat, seafood and/ or vegetables according to taste and choice. Use fish stock or chicken stock instead of water to increase the flavor.

1 cup short grained rice
3 tbsp olive oil
500 gms boneless chicken breast or thighs, cut into small pieces
200 gms prawns 
200 gms sausages, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 tomatoes,diced
1 capsicum, cut into strips
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp b;ack pepper
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp dried thyme
pinch of saffron
1/2 tsp salt
21/2 cups chicken stock

Heat olive oil in a frying pan.
Add chicken and fry till  brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.
Next add the sausages, cook and keep aside.
In the same pan  brown the prawns and then the mushrooms.Keep aside.
In a kadhai, add onions, garlic,capsicum, tomatoes and cook till translucent.
Add the cooked sausages.
Add the rice. Spread everything evenly around the pan.
Now add  the chicken pieces along with chicken stock (hot)  to the rice mixture along with  the prawns, mushrooms, lemon juice, black pepper, parsley, dried herbs, thyme and salt
Let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until the stock is completely absorbed by the rice.(Do not stir)
Once cooked, remove the paella from the fire
Cover loosely with a foil or a kitchen towel, let it rest for 10 minutes to even the cooking and let the flavors  meld.
Squeeze some lemon juice on it and serve hot.

"Paellera" - a traditional paella pan

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