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Friday, August 16, 2013

Easy Chicken Paella

Where have I been? Don’t ask! In A nutshell – clearly not blogging! Life in 2013 has gotten faster paced.  It is almost as if someone decided to light a rocket somewhere in backside of March and before you have time to scratch – it’s August! Which means that the year is almost coming to an end and it’ll be 2014 before we know it.  
So to stay faithful to the blog I thought I would log in some hours of serous blogging and if I can commit to one or two new posts every week, I may have a reasonably sized 2013 volume.  I thought I might start off with some easy recipes that I have been plating up for the family and occasional friends.  You will have to excuse the photography (or lack of) in some of these posts because I have had to rely on the phone camera.  
I have a blogged a recipe for paella previously but felt the need to do it again, differently this time.  So this recipe steers slightly away from the traditional Spanish one but rest assured it is somewhat still true to the original (at least in the taste department). 
Most people might be a little deterred from going anywhere near a paella and strictly reserve the experience to market stalls where they are charged an exorbitant price for a plate of yellow goopy rice with one or two bits of seafood and a piece of chicken.  The food theatrics seem to justify the price tag as everyone is in awe of the big paella plate on the huge gas ring in the middle of the walkway, cooking up a serve that could feed a small village.  Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely one for a food show but the end result must be as worthy as the prelude. Far too many times, I have been left rather disappointed at the flavourless plate of paella that whilst being visually appealing from its preparation to its plating – it misses the all-important mark – taste!  
Here is the easiest paella recipe I could conjure up.  Forget about special bomba rice, saffron and chorizo.  Sometimes you don’t have these things just lying around at home.  This simple recipe delivers on taste and ease by using ingredients that are quite easily sourced.  You can make your own stock (which I highly recommend – see recipe) or you could buy 1½ litres of the ready-made liquid kind and have it boiling ready to use. I like to precook the chicken so that there are no pink bits when I bite into a piece.  It usually takes the same time as the stock does to brew.   
Ingredients
For the stock
2 sticks x Celery
2 x Onions
2 x Carrots
4 cloves x Garlic, bruised
2lt x Water
For the chicken 
2kg x Chicken wings, separated into three segments – wingettes, drumettes and wingtips
Olive oil
4 cloves x Garlic, crushed to a paste
Sprig x Thyme and Rosemary 
½  tbsp x Smoked Paprika
Salt, to taste
For the rice
500g x Medium Grain Rice
Olive oil
1 x Onion, finely diced
3 cloves x Garlic, crushed
2 x Tomatoes, diced finely
2 x Capsicum, cut into strips
1tsp x Turmeric powder
1 cup x Peas (frozen is fine)
Salt to taste
Directions 
Place all stock ingredients into a large stock pot along with the chicken wingtips and bring to the boil
Skim any impurities that rise to the top and lower the heat
Cover and allow to cook for 1-2 hours then drain and reserve the clear stock liquid
For the chicken, place wingettes and drummettes in a ceramic or glass baking dish and rub through the remaining ingredients massaging the flavour into the wings
Cover and allow to marinate for up to an hour
Place covered dish into a 200 degree oven and bake for up to an hour
Turn the pieces over halfway through
Remove chicken from the dish and reserve any cooking juices
To start the paella place a large frypan (or paella pan) on the stove top and make sure your stock is boiling
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil and then cook the onion until soft
Add the garlic, stir for a few seconds then add the tomato and cook for a further 3 minutes 
Now place capsicum and the rice and fry for another 2 minutes
At this point, add a couple of tablespoons of the cooking juices from the chicken
Pour in a cup of stock and stir through to deglaze the pan
When most of the stock has been absorbed, gradually add in another 3 cups
Now sprinkle in the turmeric powder and stir through evenly
Check the seasoning and add salt to taste
Pour in the peas stir gently and put the spoon away as you won’t be stirring anymore 
Arrange two thirds of the chicken pieces around the pan evenly pressing down so that they are submerged in the cooking liquid
Add extra stock if needed.  The liquid should be covering all the rice and some of the chicken too you may add more of the cooking juices now as well
Bring the dish to the boil then reduce the heat to a low and allow to simmer
Paella is ready when the rice is done, depending on the size of your pan this can take 30 to 45 minutes.  Taste as you go to check the doneness of the rice
When done sprinkle a dash of smoked paprika and top up with more chicken
Serve hot with a wedge of lime

"The paella will be a very exciting bright yellow thanks to the turmeric and all the flavours of the chicken and other aromatics should come through the rice.  Paella definitely is a very visually exciting dish and when I served this up to the adults who stuck around at my son’s 8th birthday party, they were most impressed – I think some of them thought they were going to be subjected to regular 8th birthday party junk food along with the kids – not in my house!"
"And how do you know when you have done a good paella? The pan should look like this" >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>    




      


1 comment:

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