Paella Mixta

Good paella is something I often cook, particularly in this fine weather. I have a large paella pan that sits perfectly on my barbeque. Paella is a classic Spanish rice dish, or to be more precise, is a dish of Spain’s Valencian region. There are three main types of paella: paella valenciana (a meat paella), paella de marisco (seafood paella) and mixed paella: paella mixta.

Serves 4 – 6

300g of paella rice or long grain rice
4 tablespoons of olive oil
8 free range oyster chicken legs or thighs
1 large onion roughly chopped
1 red pepper, roughly chopped
1 green pepper, roughly chopped
180g of chorizo sausage, diced
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 heaped teaspoon of sweet smoked paprika
½ teaspoon of saffron strands – soaked in a little boiling water to bring out the full flavour
6 tomatoes, skinned and roughly diced
2 pints of good chicken stock
12 tiger prawns – preferably with shells on
50g of frozen peas (I like petit pois)
2 lemons cut into wedges
Salt and fresh black pepper

Heat the oil in the paella pan over a medium to high heat. Season the chicken, add to the pan and sauté on all sides until golden brown. Remove the chicken from the pan and add the onion, peppers and chorizo and fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Add the garlic, paprika and saffron and cook for a minute before returning the chicken to the pan. Add the tomatoes, season well and add the chicken stock. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and pour in the rice. Stir and bring the pan back to the boil and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and add the prawns and peas, simmer again for 20 minutes turning the prawns half way. Avoid stirring the rice, instead gently shake the pan to ensure the rice is immersed – if the mix seems a little dry add some boiling water. After 20 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and cover the paella tightly with foil and let it sit for 5 minutes – this allows the rice to absorb the steam, adding to the flavour. Serve with wedges of lemon.

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