“I’ve made a few paellas in my time. The biggest one was for about 800 people in a village in Spain and it was hard work, but an incredible experience. The Spanish can be quite protective about what is and what isn’t a paella, but at the same time, the spirit of their cooking has always been flexible to whatever meat, fish, seafood or game can be found. I’ve eaten and enjoyed many paellas, and I hope you like my humble, great-value expression of one. ”
Peel and finely slice the garlic, peel and roughly chop the onion and carrot. Finely chop the parsley stalks, then roughly chop the chorizo and chicken thighs.
Put a lug of oil into a large lidded shallow casserole or paella pan on a medium heat, add the garlic, onion, carrot, parsley stalks, chorizo, chicken and paprika, and fry for around 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
Deseed and chop the pepper, then add to the pan for a further 5 minutes.
Stir through the tomato purée and crumble in the stock cube, then add the rice and stir for a couple of minutes so it starts to suck up all that lovely flavour.
Pour in 750ml of boiling water and add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Pop the lid on and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly from the outside in and from the inside out, and adding a splash of water if needed.
Stir in the peas and prawns, replace the lid, and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until hot through.
Season to perfection, then chop the parsley leaves, scatter them over the paella, and serve with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over.
My advice here is simple – delicious as this dish is, if you’re feeling a bit flush, adding six mussels, six clams and any extra bits of fish you can afford is only going to make it even more of a celebration.