I was hankering for some paella this week and the recipe I found on the BBC Food website by Antony Worrall Thompson who used paprika and chilli to colour and flavour instead of saffron. I sometime find saffron a little overpowering so found this to be a good alternative.
Paella is such a large dish and way too much for my family of four and so a perfect excuse to invite friends over for lunch. And was I glad I did because after visiting the fish mongers and picking up a lot more seafood than required, I was then faced with preparing the squid which I have never done before. Thankfully my friend Andy came to the rescue and prepared it for me under the guidance of his beautiful wife Poyee, providing a masterclass for which I will be much the wiser in future.
I have to say this turned out to be a fantastic meal with our friends and I think I may invite people to cook with me again. It was great fun and I appreciated why when I watch Nigella Lawson on TV she often ends with a lovely gaggle of friends sharing the food. It is as it should be.
Below are the details take directly from the BBCFood website. I am not claiming credit for this and even the making of it was a team effort. Enjoy!
- 170g/6oz chorizo, cut into thin slices
- 110g/4oz pancetta, cut into small dice
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 tsp soft thyme leaves
- ¼ tsp dried red chilli flakes
- 570ml/1pint calasparra (Spanish short-grain) rice/paella rice
- 1 tsp paprika
- 125ml/4fl oz dry white wine
- 1.2 litres/2 pints chicken stock, heated with ¼ tsp saffron strands
- 8 chicken thighs, each chopped in half and browned
- 18 small clams, cleaned
- 110g/4oz fresh or frozen peas
- 4 large tomatoes, de-seeded and diced
- 50ml/2fl oz good olive oil
- 1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
- 12 jumbo raw prawns, in shells
- 450g/1lb squid, cleaned and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 5 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat half the olive oil in a paella dish or heavy-based saucepan. Add the chorizo and pancetta and fry until crisp. Add the garlic, onion and pepper and heat until softened. Add the thyme, chilli flakes and calasparra rice, and stir until all the grains of rice are nicely coated and glossy. Now add the paprika and dry white wine and when it is bubbling, pour in the hot chicken stock, add the chicken thighs and cook for 5-10 minutes.
- Now place the clams into the dish with the join facing down so that the edges open outwards. Sprinkle in the peas and chopped tomatoes and continue to cook gently for another 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil with the garlic cloves in a separate pan and add the prawns. Fry quickly for a minute or two then add them to the paella. Now do the same with the squid and add them to the paella too.
- Scatter the chopped parsley over the paella and serve immediately.