Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Recipe - Paella

I've lost it. This has been the third week when I've done little to no work. To try and get some sort of grip on exams/reality/my life, I took the step of placing all my folders on my desk. They're wild and multicoloured and terrifying. I did this so I'd no longer be able to avoid working. But I underestimated how GRIPPED WITH TERROR I am. Manifesting itself not as motivation to revise but with me finding progressively more inventive ways of procrastinating and also generally just losing the plot in such a way that in any situation, I'm choosing the stupidest, most self-destructive (but probably most fun) option available. I've lost all sense of days and I am in a daze. So much so that I didn't even realise those two were homonyms as I typed them. Anyway, this is the third day it's felt like Sunday now. Only today is actually Sunday. I'm aware that the (more) disjointed writing style of this and the last post are revealing just how not with it I am. Anyway, surprisingly, that doesn't mean that cooking has gone to hell. I've been cooking more since I find it a soothing, calming activity. It is something I can do. I will set out what I'm going to do, follow a process and it (generally) turns out as expected. Why can't everything work this way?
(Yes, I know this is very similar to seafood risotto but I have a mean paella recipe which I'd like to share.)

5 chicken thighs, seasoned all over with salt and pepper
2 lemons, halved
Olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
150g chorizo, chopped
2 red sweet pointed peppers, chopped into chunks

2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme

300g paella rice
Splash of white wine
Liberal pinch saffron
1l vegetable stock
4 good tomatoes, chopped
150g fresh peas
200g fresh prawns
Flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Heat the oil on a high heat in a large, heavy based pan with the lemons in it. Brown the chicken thighs until nicely browned all round. Remove the chicken thighs and set aside.
Lower the heat to medium. Add the onion, garlic, chilli, chorizo, peppers, bay leaves and thyme.
Fry for 5 minutes until the chorizo oils have been released and the vegetables are softening.
Turn the heat up slightly and add the paella rice and coat well with the oil and fry for a minute
Add the wine and let it evaporate away.
Add the saffron and combine well.
Pour in the stock and the chicken thighs and two of the lemon halves then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover.
After 15 minutes, add the peas and tomatoes.
After a further 10 minutes, add the prawns.
After 5 more minutes, remove from the heat.
Stir in the parsley, adjust the seasoning as appropriate (salt, pepper, squeeze of lemon perhaps).

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