Harriet and I have got a particular fondness for Spain; it's people, culture, landscape, weather and above all its food.
Tucking in to a delicious bowl of Paella, with a glass (or 3) of Sangria and Flamenco music playing in the background sends us back with great fondness to wandering around incredible food markets, through ancient back streets or in and out of tapas bars in Barcelona, or watching the sunset with a large glass of Sangria on the Spanish island of Mallorca.
Below is our own recipe for this Spanish classic, and although this hasn't been signed off by an actual Spanish person, we think it is pretty damn good, and definitely pretty close to the real thing! We hope you think so too...
...Happy Cooking! 🥘
Makes enough for 4 people
2 Chicken breasts - trimmed and cut in to cubes
2 large Spanish Sausages (butchers sausages work well too) cut in to 1cm rounds
1 Red Onion - Diced
2 Cloves Garlic - Finely chopped
1 Red pepper - diced
1 Green pepper - diced
Half a courgette - diced
250-300g Paella rice (use risotto rice if you can't get this)
1 sachet of Paella seasoning (usually found with the dried herbs and spices)
700ml-1ltr hot chicken stock - you might not use all of this
Salt and Pepper
Half a Fresh lemon
150ml White Wine
Paella works best cooked in an actual Paella pan, so if you can afford one, its well worth the investment. A large frying pan would be a good alternative however...
Heat the pan over a medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of veg oil. Once hot, add the chicken and sausage and cook until sealed and starting to turn golden brown
Next add the onions, peppers and any other vegetables you are using, and cook until they are starting to soften, adding the garlic in once the other veg has reached a golden brown colour.
Cook the garlic for 1 minute or so taking care not to burn it. Add in the paella seasoning and stir to coat everything. Add the rice, stir and then add the White wine
Continue to stir until the wine has almost been completely absorbed, then add in about 300ml of the chicken stock
At this point turn the heat down to a low simmer and keep stirring eveyr 2-3 minutes to stop the rice from sticking too early
Once all of the stock has been absorbed, keep adding more in (a little at a time) and stirring the paella until the rice is almost cooked (it should be soft but with a slight crunch to it)
When the rice is almost cooked, check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed. Gently pat the rice down and stop stirring.
The Paella is ready when all of the liquid has been absorbed, the rice has an almost sticky texture, and a delicious crust is starting to form on the base - you don't want the rice to burn, but you do want it to start sticking to the pan as this is a very important part of the flavour and texture of the dish.
To finish, squeeze the juice of half the lemon over the top...
...Serve immediately with a big jug of Sangria....