Paella recipe

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The original one-pot Spanish dish. Unlike risotto, paella does not have to be stirred as it cooks, so it is better suited to entertaining. As always when cooking rice, you need twice the amount of liquid to rice. The other thing to watch is that you add the seafood according to how long it needs to cook: squid goes in last as it becomes rubbery if cooked for too long.

  • Yield: 8 to 10 Servings

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3–4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces chorizo sausage, skinned and sliced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 pound skinless and boneless chicken thighs
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2½ cups paella rice, such as calasparra or bomba
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 quart hot chicken stock
  • Generous pinch of saffron strands
  • One 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 24 mussels, cleaned
  • 10 ounces raw jumbo shrimp, whole or heads removed
  • 10 ounces squid, cleaned and sliced into thin rings
  • 2½ cups peas, thawed if frozen
  • Handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges, to serve
How to Make It
  1. Heat a little olive oil in a large paella pan or frying pan. Add the onion and red pepper and sauté for 2–3 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes before adding the chorizo and paprika.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper. Add to the pan and cook for a few minutes over high heat, stirring frequently, to lightly seal the meat.
  3. Add the rice and stir for 2–3 minutes, then add the wine and cook for about 5 minutes to evaporate before adding the stock. Bring up to a simmer, then add the saffron and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and stir well.
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes, then gently push the mussels and shrimp into the top of the rice. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until the shrimp are opaque and the mussels have opened (discard any that haven’t). Stir in the squid and the peas and cook for an additional 2–3 minutes. (The rice should now be cooked and all the liquid absorbed.)
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat, cover tightly with foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Garnish with the parsley and lemon wedges and serve.
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