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Where's Jane gone now?
and other random musings
Real Paella - Wot I Did 
15th-Dec-2013 08:24 pm
Because I can't really justify the word "recipe"...
I read a few. Delia book 2, a Jamie version online, a few others. Then I decided I was cooking for two, not six, and examined what was in the fridge, what we both like, and the price of shell-on prawns.

Two big chicken thighs, skin-on, boned and halved. Browned in a pan that had been sprayed with Fry-Lite (I later realised that using Real Oil would have had advantages)
Once they were browned (and I'd done the next bit of chopping, carefully ignoring all the advice about prepping first and cooking afterwards), I put them to one side, and fried
  • some chopped up chorizo (about 3 inches of 1/2 inch diameter, that being what was left, and I'd have preferred more) 
  • half an onion (chopped up),
  • two cloves of garlic
  • about half a red pepper (thin slices)
Once they were nice and browned, I put in a splosh of chicken stock with a pinch of saffron soaked into it, and about a tsp of smoked paprika, the liquid being added just in time to stop things going from "browned" to "burnt". Two tomatoes, diced, went in at this point (no, not skinned, life is too short and I'm not that picky)

This was when I started working out quantities of rice and water (me, advance planning?) The rice box said 500g and a litre of stock, for four. So I halved it. 250g paella rice, and about 400ml of stock, since I'd already put some liquid in (I used 1/2 tsp chicken Bovril, not having real stock around for once, and should have made it stronger).

Put the chicken back in, brought it up to the boil, then covered and simmered for 10 min.

Pulled the frozen peas and prawns out, put a suitable quantity in a jug (10 king prawns, "yeah, about that much" of peas), and applied boiling water. When defrosted, moved the peas to the paella and let it carry on simmering.

After the 10 min was up, gave it a good stir, added the prawns, half a pack of mussels that had been on half-price (no, not in their shells, neither of us like fiddling around getting our fingers burnt) and a can of squid in olive oil from Aldi. Tested the rice, added a splosh more water. Realised that it was a bit lacking in flavour, and maybe I should have added some of the missing spices. Added salt, and a cautious sprinkle of Cayenne.
Put the timer on for another 10 min simmering. Towards the end of that, realised that while the rice was as soft as it needed to be, it was sticking, and chucked the oil from the squid in as well. Wished I'd done that to start with.

Served. Totally forgot to add the finely chopped parsley on top. Realised that while chicken quantities were fine, I had about twice as much as I needed of everything else.

On tasting, that cayenne had been a mistake.

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