We have spent many happy holidays on the lovely little Spanish Balearic Island of Minorca. We have returned to the same quiet little spot that we love so much on the Southern coast of the island several times and so have become very familiar with one of the few little restaurants that line the sea front, it is where I always have a lovely plate of spicy paella that is cooked at the table with the delicious aromas wafting around.
Paella is actually a Valencian dish and the name – as well as now being the name of the dish – is actually the name of the large pan that the rice dish is made in.
This spicy paella recipe is a mixed paella – containing chicken, seafood, vegetables and delicious spicy Chorizo.
Do be sure to use proper paella rice which is round and short and absorbs the stock really well while also staying relatively al dente during the cooking.
This recipe uses the chicken wings that are so inexpensive in the supermarkets today, cooking the chicken on the bone adds to the flavour.
The finished recipe should not be wet and the rice should have absorbed all of the cooking liquid; but if the dish starts to look very dry before the dish has finished or if the rice is still a little hard, a little extra stock can be added.
SPICY MIXED PAELLA
Serves 4 people
3 tablespoons olive oil
12 chicken wings, tips removed
100g diced pancetta, bacon lardoons or diced smoky bacon
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, de-seeded and diced
12 raw tiger prawns
50g broad beans
200g mushrooms, sliced or halved if small
150g Chorizo cut into cubes
3 cloves garlic, crushed
200g paella rice
500ml hot chicken stock
1 small glass white wine
12 threads of saffron
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lemon slices and fresh parsley for serving.
1. Pour the olive oil in Paella pan, large frying pan or wok, heat and brown the chicken wings in the pan – remove and place to one side.
2. Add the chorizo and pancetta or bacon to the pan and fry until crisp.
3. Add the garlic, onion, mushrooms and peppers and cook until soft but not brown.
4. Add the paella rice; stir well until all the grains of rice are nicely coated with the oil.
5. Add the paprika and dry white wine and when it is bubbling, pour in the hot chicken (in which the strands of saffron have been placed) stock slowly.
6. Return the chicken to the pan, do not stir the pan but shake the pan to stop the rice sticking.
7. Sprinkle the peas and beans over the top of the paella and cook for a further five minutes.
8. Lay the prawns on top of the Paella. Cook for a further 5 minutes, turning the prawns half way until the prawns have turned pink and are cooked.
9. Taste the rice and if it is still hard, cook a little longer.
10. Turn off the heat. Cover the Paella pan with tin foil and leave for another 5 minutes so all the liquid is fully absorbed.
The Spaniards actually use newspaper to do this! This will allow the rice to adsorb the remaining water and the tomatoes to finish cooking.
11. Season to taste with salt and pepper, scatter freshly chopped parsley over the top and garnish with lemon wedges and serve immediately.