For absolutely ages, hubby has had a yen to make a paella-style dish. Of course, he'd have absolutely loved to have made true paella, but I fear that's beyond our purse at the moment.
I've got to say, though, that the dish he made last night - Spanish style chicken and prawns - is so "after the style of" a paella, that he got as close as he could have done.
He'd obviously spent some time thinking about how he was going to approach the cooking of the dish, having decided to marinade the chicken and cook it separately, so as to preserve the flavours of the marinade. He absolutely achieved that, as the chicken was discernibly flavoured differently to the rice. This made for interest in a dish which could very easily have been one overall flavour.
He used pepperoni sausage, as we had some left over from some Calzones he was going to make last week. I think I probably preferred the pepperoni, as the paprika from the chorizo, together with the two paprika's used in the dish could very easily have been too much for me. I seem to have become quite paprika-sensitive in my old age!
We were both agreed that it would have finished it off perfectly to have had a sprinkling of chopped parsley to serve - so you may want to add that if you try this dish.
One thing that is worth saying about the meal, is that Son & heir started it suspiciously but was very soon tucking in and polished off the lot! So that was a seal of approval as regards its kid-friendliness.
SPANISH STYLE CHICKEN & PRAWNS (serves 4)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 chicken breasts, sliced into small pieces
half a lemon, juiced
freshly ground black pepper
half a tsp smoked paprika
pinch of Saffron50ml boiling water
a small knob of butter
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 large spanish onion, chopped
1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
1 yellow pepper, de-seeded and chopped
half a red chilli, de-seeded and chopped very fine
1 clove garlic, grated
half tsp dried oregano
half tsp of paprika (not smoked)
100g chorizo or pepperoni, diced into small chunks
300g long grain rice
1 litre chicken stock (2 stock cubes are fine)
2 handfuls of frozen peas, defrosted
200g prawns, defrosted
1 large de-seeded tomato, chopped.
1. Place the chicken into a bowl and squeeze over the juice of half a lemon. Add a few grinds of fresh pepper and the smoked paprika. Stir and marinade for half an hour.
2. Prepare the saffron by placing a pinch of saffron into a small bowl with the boiling water. Cover and leave for half an hour.
3. Add the olive oil to a frying pan and fry the chicken until golden brown all over. Remove from heat and set to one side to keep warm.
4. Add the knob of butter and more olive oil to the pan and saute the chopped onions, chopped pepper, chopped chilli and garlic until soft.
5. Bring temperature up very high and add the dried oregano and paprika together with the chopped chorizo or pepperoni. Season and allow the spices to cook out of the sausage for a minute or so, then add the long grain rice and stir until coated with the seasoned oil.
6. When the rice is hot, add the saffron water, together with the strands of saffron. Add the chicken stock and stir through.
7. Cook until the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid and add the peas. Check the seasoning and cook until rice is al dente.
8. Add the prawns, tomato and the chicken. Stir and cook until the rice is tender and everything is heated through.