I have tried for years to get paella right. It is one of my favorite dishes and it combines so much of what constitutes good family dinners, tasty, healthy, quick to put together and a combination of flavors. I have tried a number of recipes over the years and this one from Gwyneth's book"It's All Good" - page 184 worked. I did make some changes which I think enhanced the dish. I omitted the turkey sausage and the artichokes and used fresh prawns instead. I loved GP's use of the grated tomato. I have never used that technique when cooking with fresh tomatoes, it was the secret in the dish. I also used two large tomatoes as opposed to one on the vine. Either will do. You do need to get a paella dish and also use the spanish rice- Calasparra rice or Bomba as GP requests. I also used one and a half chickens as my chicken was small. This was enough for 2 meals.
1 whole 5/5 pound chicken or two smaller chickens- tell butcher to remove the wings, and then cut thigh and leg. Cut the thigh into two or three pieces depending on the size and the same for the breast. Keep skin on.
6 cups chicken stock
1 tsp sweet pimenton
1/2 tsp hot pimenton
1 1/2 yellow onion finely chopped
2 red peppers, seeds and stem removed and chopped to 1inch pieces
2/3 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 cups spanish rice
large pinch of saffron
1 cup frozen peas
fresh prawns- I used 12
2 lemons cut into wedges
-First take your chicken stock and add the sweet and hot pimenton. Put this on a low heat. I did not follow GP as she wanted you to stick in the backbone in the stock and simmer for an additional 20mins. If you have good chicken stock then no need to do this.
- Now take your chicken pieces, season really well and gently brown all over in a pan with hot olive oil. Take your time and cook for at least 20mins.
- Once all the chicken is browned- take the pan, add some more olive oil and throw in the onion. Cook this for about 10/15mins until golden. Then add the garlic and the peppers. Cook for 5mins. Coarsely grate the tomatoes and throw into the onion mixture. Cook these on a low heat for about 10mins. Then return the chicken to the pan, along with the rice and stock. Sprinkle over the saffron. Bring to the boil then simmer. Add the peas, cook for about 25mins on a low heat. Once the rice is just cooked through, remove from the heat and let it sit undisturbed for 10mins. Serve with squeezed lemon juice. I pan fried the prawns and then threw in at the end. This was delicious.