Paella! Arguably Spain’s most famous and most popular dish. Despite originating in Valencia you can get paella anywhere and everywhere in this fantastic country, so if you’ve been to Spain but have never tried one before then shame on you!
For me food plays a massive part when visiting a different country. I research the best dishes to try before I get there and then make sure I get to eat as many of them as I can once I arrive. Now, don’t get me wrong, whilst travelling through South East Asia for four months I didn’t always eat Asian food. Sometimes I wanted something familiar, you know something that reminded me of home. There’s nothing wrong with that. I did, however, make sure I tried all the traditional dishes as well and I’m so glad I did. For me, this is one of the most exciting parts of travelling. Getting to experience different foods and flavours and falling in love with a whole different cuisine.
Basically the point I’m trying to make here is that if you have been to Spain and haven’t eaten a paella, well, then you’ve missed out big time! Luckily for you I do have another option. Okay, so it’s probably not quite as good as a traditional Spanish one but hey, it’s not bad!
350g chicken breasts, cut into strips
100g spicy chorizo, diced
6 slices of pancetta, diced
1 onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and finely sliced
Half a teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 litre of good quality chicken stock
2 lemons, zest of 1
300g paella rice, uncooked
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
Chicken OXO cube
Salt and fresh black pepper
- Heat a tablespoon of sunflower oil in a large saucepan or paella pan and fry the chicken until well browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set to one side.
- Add the chorizo and pancetta to the pan and fry until they begin to crisp. Next add in the onion and cook until it starts to soften. Throw in the yellow pepper, garlic and the paprika and cayenne pepper and mix well.
- Cook for a further 5 minutes and then pour in the chicken stock and juice from 1 lemon. Add the chicken back to the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Pour in the uncooked rice and sprinkle the chicken OXO cube on top. Mix well and cover pan tightly with foil. Simmer for a further 20 minutes and then remove off the heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Check the rice is cooked and then remove all the foil.
- Season with salt and fresh black pepper and sprinkle the lemon zest and parsley on top. Cut the second lemon into wedges and sit on top of the paella. Serve in the pan at the table for full effect!