Non-scary Paella

30 Apr

It is a while since I have posted anything so for all of you who follow our blog, sorry but we were so busy over Easter with 11 guests here!  So it has taken a while to catch up.

One day last week, our friends Rob and Nevenka invited us over for Paella – I said to Rob that although I had made it before a few times, I always got into a bit of a tiz as obviously I am not used to cooking it very often and it does have quite a few ingredients.  Anyhow, Rob said I could watch him make his and that way I would see that it was not something to be frightened of and great fun to boot.   One of the great things about Paella is that is wonderful for a crowd and is made in one pan.  I was very happy to be going out and being cooked for – such a treat when I do so much of it here.  So here is Rob’s very non-scary version – I think what I took from him is that much of it is in the preparation, like many things in life, and if you take the time to get all of your ingredients ready, then it makes the cooking of it much more simple and takes all the stress out of it.   Rob was very relaxed and made it look so easy that I felt like I was on a cookery show!

For Rob’s meat paella, you will need:-

A very large frying pan, or preferably a paella pan

A gas hob (or some Spanish do cook it on the barbeque grill)

8 Chicken legs (drumsticks)

3 Chorizo sausages (the raw kind)

A good handful or two of pork ribs (easy to get here, but you may need to order them

From your butcher – they need to be in small bite-size pieces if possible)

Rabbit cut into small pieces – a good couple of handfuls (omit if this is not up your street – again you may have to order especially

16 large prawns with their shells – I am adding these because they look beautiful in a mixed paella or meat only as we are making here

An onion

A good few cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon of saffron

1 and a half cups of fat rice (Arborio)

4 cups of good fresh chicken stock

1 red and green pepper chopped into smallish pieces

So, put a little pork fat or sausage fat into your pan and heat through

Firstly cook the chorizo and then add the pork and brown.  You will have quite a bit of oil in the pan to cook the rest of the meat.  Remove chorizo and pork, and add the chicken.  Keep it on the move in order not to burn, you want colour but not char-grilled!  Then add the rabbit and brown too.  Remove onto a plate and add you’re chopped up peppers and onion and cover with a large lid or even a baking sheet to steam the peppers a little.  Then add the garlic and fry off too.  Rob has a good tip of cooking the garlic later otherwise it colours too much and disappears!  Then add your rice and stir in.    Keep stirring for a few minutes and then add the hot chicken stock and sprinkle in the saffron – exactly how much you use is up to you – we don’t like it too bright in colour or too strong in taste so easy does it – you can always add more.  Then put all the meat back and gently cook until the rice has absorbed nearly all the liquid, stirring from time to time.  Continue to cook until the rice is ready – you can add some peas if you wish, they look lovely but just add at the last minute so they keep their beautiful green colour.  Baby broad beans work fantastically too.  And there you have an entire meal for a large family or friends all in one pan.  Put the whole thing on the table and serve with absolutely nothing else other than some lemon wedges – you won’t need it!

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