Recipe: Chicken and Chorizo Paella

I’ve always loved the warming yet summery flavours of paella, but I really struggle with seafood.  My mum always fills her paella with squid, mussels, and prawns, while I just sit and pick out the bits of chicken, so I decided to adapt my mum’s recipe and create something more to my taste.  I know how good seafood is for you, so I decided to throw in a big handful of fresh, cold water prawns towards the end for the added protein and health benefits, but they are so small and subtle that you barely notice them.  So if like me, you struggle with seafood, this is a good way to sneakily introduce them to your diet.

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All in all, from prep to cooking, this recipe will take you the better part of an hour, but it’s honestly worth it.  Once you’ve gotten through the initial stages, it’s so simple, and your friends will think you spent ages over the stove preparing it.  Don’t skimp on the lemon either – that squeeze of citrus juice over the top makes the whole thing come alive!

Chicken and Chorizo Paella

Easy | Cook: 40 minutes | Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 300g paella rice
  • 850ml chicken stock
  • 125g chorizo, sliced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 227g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
  • ½ a red pepper, diced
  • 200g frozen peas
  • 80g cold water prawns
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped, to serve

Method:

1.Put a large, non-stick pan over a medium heat and fry the chorizo until turning crisp and releasing its oil, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside

2.Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then brown on all sides in the same pan, adding a little extra oil if you need it, then remove and set aside with the chorizo

3. Add the chopped onion to the pan and cook until beginning to soften, then add the spices – I like to add some chilli flakes to give a subtle heat, but you can leave this out if you like. Once the spices are beginning to cook and release some of their fragrance, tip in the chopped red pepper and tinned tomatoes, followed by the rice, and stir until all the rice is coated

4. Put the browned chicken breast back into the pan and add 500ml of the chicken stock.  Bring to the boil, then leave to simmer for around 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After the 20 minutes, give the whole lot a good stir, then add the remaining stock and leave to cook for another 5 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked

5. Tip in the chorizo, frozen peas and the prawns, allow them to warm through and the peas to cook, season with salt and pepper to taste, then top with fresh parsley and lemon, and serve!

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