Spain is an amazing country to visit. Beautiful weather, spicy food and lovely people. I went there couple of years ago and you can read about it here and here but for now let me tell you about the food I miss most from Spain. We went to Valencia first and I guess its not possible to go there and not have paella. I loved it then and I still love it. I have tried paella in other places as well but it was nothing like having it in a small village in Valencia. The other thing I miss is the chorizo. However now a days you do get chorizo and Iberico ham in the supermarkets but the selection I saw in a market place in Valencia is incredible.
There is so much you can do with the endless types of ham and chorizo you will find in the market place. I made some tapas with the salami wrapped in grilled courgette and pan fried thinly sliced chorizo with bread fried in same oil or olive oil.
I never attempt to make paella at home until recently I got a paella pan and a spice mix specially made for paella. I never imagined that making Paella will be this easy. One thing to remember is the rice to stock ratio should be 1 to 3. No need to cover the pan while the rice is cooking.Try it, its delicious.
Paella rice : 1 cup
Boiling water 3 cups
Paella spice mix 1/2 sachet (Use chicken stock if you don’t get this)
Pinch of Saffron
Chicken thighs 6
Chorizo sausages 2
Chopped onion 1 medium size
Handful of frozen peas
Salt to taste
Start with placing the paella pan on medium heat and slicing the chorizo to roughly 1 cm disks. I prefer to take the skin off the sausages but its up to you. I didn't add any oil to the pan as the chorizo will release enough flavoured oil, which will be enough to cook the rest of the dish. So when you see the chorizo pieces are releasing oil and slightly browned then add the chicken pieces to it and coat them well in the oil. Keep an eye on the heat so that it doesn't burn the meat but at the same time it gets browned. Add the onion and continue to fry. Cook for 15- 20 minutes or until the chicken is at least half cooked.
*The cooking time will vary if you use small pieces of chicken or chicken breast.
Wash and dry the paella rice and make the stock with the spice mix and the 3 cups of paella spice mix or the chicken stock. Add the saffron in to the water as well. When the chicken is almost half cooked add the rice and the peas and give the whole thing a good mix. Fry the rice for a minute and then add the stock in to the pan. Make sure all the elements in the pan is almost covered by the stock. Now cook it on high flame for 7-8 minutes then simmer the heat and cook it for further 10-12 minutes until all the stock is completely absorbed by the rice.
One quick test is to take a fork and check the centre of the pan if there are no liquid left on the bottom of the pan then the dish is ready. Check for seasoning and the serve hot. You can decorate with lemon wedges but I didn’t have any at home. So I went without it. It was delicious. Try it and you will know what I am talking about.