I'm sure there are those who would say that this is not a true paella in the traditional sense but it is still a very tasty recipe to have at your disposal. It's quite simple, very tasty and easily scaled up, if necessary, for a large group of people. While living in Dublin, I used to make it all the time when friends would come to stay before we'd head out on the town.
I have been using this recipe for many years. I found it first on the BBC's food website and although I have adapted it to suit my own needs I am still very grateful that such a resource exists.
Time: An hour and a quarter.
60ml Olive Oil
8 Pieces of Chicken, Skin On (drumsticks, thighs or a mixture of the two)
200g of Chorizo Sausage (don't use the one already thinly sliced)
1 Large or 2 Small Onions
2 Red Peppers
2 Red Chilli Peppers
3 Garlic Cloves
2 Teaspoons of Paprika
1.5L Hot Chicken Stock
400g Paella Rice (or risotto or arborio)
150g Shelled Prawns
A Handful of Parsley for Garnish
Large Pot (around 6L)
Large Wooden Spoon
Heatproof Measuring Jug
1. Dice the onion (Be careful with the knife. You should not have to use much pressure with the first cuts. It is better to slide the knife rather than push it forcefully in the direction of your hand.)
2. Cut the peppers into slices (I prefer the appearance and texture of peppers when cut like this.)
3. Remove the seeds from the chillis and dice them finely. (You can wear gloves for this to protect your hands if you like. This will also reduce the risk of rubbing your eye with chilli later.)
4. Peel, halve and crush the garlic. (Don't worry if you don't have a crusher, a fork will do just as well.)
5. Cut the chorizo into roughly 0.5cm cubes.
6. In the large pot, on a medium heat, in a good dash of oil, brown the chicken. Be sure to keep it moving to avoid it sticking to the pot. (Use the wooden spoon to remove as much of what sticks to the bottom of the pot as possible.) This will take between 5-10 minutes. When finished, remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.
7. Put another dash of oil in the pot and fry the chorizo for around 3 minutes. The chorizo will release some of its beautiful oil which will add greatly to the flavour of the dish later on.
8. Add the onion to the pot and fry it for another 3 minutes or so. (Something magical happens at this point. Any chicken and chorizo previously stuck to the base of the pot seem to come free when the onion is added.)
9. Add the garlic and fry for another 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
10. Add the red peppers, the chilli peppers and the paprika and stir well.
11. Return the chicken to the pot and pour in the hot stock. Leave this to simmer for around 20 minutes.
12. Add the paella rice and cover the pot. Keep the pot simmering for another 20 minutes or so, stirring regularly, until all of the stock has been absorbed. Around 10 minutes before it's ready, add the prawns.
13. Finely dice the parsley for garnish.
14. Sprinkle a little parsley over the dish and place a wedge of lemon on the side before serving.