Earlier this week I was in the process of clearing all my cookbooks from the kitchen (it’s currently a shell of it’s former inglorious self) so I thought I’d take the opportunity to muddle them all up and choose this month’s Random Recipe challenge. However, as I was carrying them a piece of card fluttered out. A recipe card. How much more random can you get than that? This Random Recipe chose itself.
The recipe is for Paella Valenciana and it’s from a recipe card given to all the guests at the wedding of some very lovely friends who had the most amazing ceremony in an olive grove on a hillside in Spain with sunflowers, communal paella, dancing, churros and pool party the next morning. They are now expecting a small-person, so here’s to you M+V+bump!
I’ve been meaning to make it for a while but assumed it would have lots of ingredients I didn’t have. I was wrong (except for the rabbit). It came out a little on the spicy side for Mr B’s tastes so I’ll have to think of a way of mellowing it.
I’m afraid that I got so excited taking photos of the colours of the freshly podded peas, juicy vine tomatoes and then of the big simmering pot that I completely forgot to take photos of the finished product. It was only after scoffing the lot that I remembered.
3/4kg chicken legs/thighs cut into even portions
1/2kg rabbit portions (I left this out as I was making a smaller amount)
400g paella rice
250g runner beans (topped, tailed and cut into strips)
250g peas or broad beans
1 large tomato (peeled and chopped)
150ml olive oil
A large pinch of saffron
1/2tsp spanish paprika
2 litres of water (I boiled the pea pods in this water to get the added flavour from them)
45cm paella pan or large deep saucepan
Heat the oil. Fry the chicken (and rabbit) in batches for a few minutes on medium heat until golden.
Add all the meat back into the pan along with the beans, peas, broadbeans and continue to fry for 1min.
Lower the head and add the tomato and paprika. Fry for another minute.
Add 1.5 litres of water and season.
Bring to the boil, then simmer for 45-60mins until the meat is cooked through (mine was falling apart my 45mins).
Check the seasoning and add the saffron.
Make sure the liquid is at least an inch deep, then raise the temperature to a boil and add the rice making sure it is as evenly spread throughout the pan as possible but without stirring (to get the crust on the bottom of the pan).
Cook on a high heat for about 10mins stirring gently then on a low heat for another 8-10mins. Add more water if necessary
The paella should have absorbed most of the liquid and the rice be cooked aldente.
Check seasoning, then leave to rest for 8-10mins before serving.
Ideally you should all dig in from a communal paella pan with your paella spoons. The caramelised crust at the bottom of the paella pan is called the “socarrat” and is the most coveted part of the paella. So don’t apologise for burning the bottom.