Paella – Summer in a dish

Ok, so I know it hardly seems like Summer is on its way, but whatever the weather, colourful dishes full of flavour make me feel like it is finally Summer time! When we visited Barcelona, flavour and colour were in abundance in everything we ate and no more so than in the wonderful dish that is Paella. We hunted down a restaurant in a little backstreet of the El Ravel neighbourhood which is touted as having some of the best paella in the city. I have to admit it was pretty amazing, even if we couldnt finish it! The name of the restaurant is Pollo Rico and it is on Calle San Pau, just off the Ramblas.

Serious Paella

Serious Paella

This was a dish I had to have a go at myself. It seems complicated and has quite a few ingredients but actually its a really easy one pot meal. It can easily be multiplied up for large groups but this one is just for two. Ive excluded the mussels from mine as my other half isnt a great fan of these. You can play around with different types of shellfish and even meat. The Pollo Rico dish had both chicken and rabbit in it! Ive made this healthy eating by reducing the rice in the dish and increasing the vegetables. Most dishes have double the rice in this but the Hairy Dieters suggest reducing the rice really wont leave you feeling hungry! I agree! This is similar to their recipe, with a few adjustments to make it easy to whip up for two. Try it!

Healthy Paella:

Serves 2, 11 pp per serving

My Paella

My Paella

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 180g chicken thigh meat, cut into chunks
  • 2 small onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 150g green beans
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tspn smoked paprika
  • 100g garden peas
  • 25g chorizo, sliced – I like hot chorizo
  • pinch saffron threads
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 100g paella rice
  • 500ml good chicken stock
  • 50g sliced squid (I used frozen rings – you can leave this out)
  • 80g prawns (You can use shell on but I went with frozen)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Lemon wedges to serve
  1. Heat the oil in a wide shallow pan such as a paella pan or frying pan. Fry the chunks of chicken until the meat is lightly browned on all sides. Add the chorizo and continue to cook for approx a minute until the chorizo has released its oil and become crispy.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and chorizo from to pan, ensureing that as much of the lovely chorizo oil stays in. Put the meat aside for a few minutes.
  3. Add the onion strips to the pan and fry for about 5 minutes, until slightly browned. Add the peppers and green beans and cook for a few minutes until slightly softened.
  4. Stir in garlic, paprika, saffron, bay leaf and rice and cook for 2 minutes until all the rice is covered in spices.
  5. Put the chicken and chorizo back in the pan then stir in the stock and season with salt and pepper. Stir to make sure everything is well distributed. Cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the squid, prawns and peas to the pan and stir well.
  7. Continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Dont stir during this time because you want a bit of a crunchy crust to develop on the base of the pan.
  8. Serve this as a big centrepiece on the table and get people to dig in. Squeeze of lemon over the top makes this yummy!  This would be great to have in summertime with some side salads and would make it go even further!

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