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How To Make Authentic Paella

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Paella is Spain on a plate. Originally a traditional Valencian dish, Paella is a blend of Spanish cuisine's myriad colours, flavours and textures combined with the vibrance and romance of Iberia.
What you'll need: 
350g Paella rice (short grain)
6 chicken thighs (on the bone)
100g Chorizo
10-12 king prawns (shells on)/500g mussels (cleaned)
Large white onion and large red pepper
2 large garlic cloves
7-8 ripe red tomatoes
1.5 litres chicken stock
Paprika/Cayenne pepper/Saffron strands
Garden peas
The traditional Valencian recipe, which contains rabbit, white beans and snails has been superseded by more popular 'mixed' Paella recipes. These recipes are generally more accessible, consisting of more readily available ingredients. Different though it may be, the mixed Paella is an amazing dish filled with contrasting yet complimentary flavours.
Pre-heat your oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas mark 5. Heat a generous glug of olive oil in a large, flat-bottomed pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add the pieces to the pan. Cook for 4-6 minutes until they are evenly browned before placing them on a baking tray in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Cut the chorizo into even chunks before adding them to the pan. Fry until the pieces start to crisp and curl at the edges. Add the garlic and onions and allow them to cook on a medium heat until soft.
Halve the chicken stock, adding a pinch of saffron to one half. Remove the chicken from the oven and return it to the pan along with the rice, one level teaspoon of smoked paprika and half a level teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
Allow the rice to cook on a medium-low heat until it starts to become transparent. Remove the chicken and add the chopped tomatoes before pouring in half of the stock.
Allow the mixture to simmer gently until most of the stock has been absorbed. Add the saffron-infused stock, unshelled prawns, mussels and peas.
Simmer gently until most of the remaining stock has been absorbed. Return the chicken to the pan, cooking until all stock has been absorbed.
Finely dice a handful of flat-leaf parsley and cut a lemon into wedges.
Garnish the Paella with the fresh parsley and lemon wedges. Serve the finished dish straight from the pan.
Though there are a relatively large number of ingredients in Paella, the cooking process is steady and systematic. Following the recipe step-by-step will ensure a delicious and authentic Paella.
Saffron is expensive so only use a small pinch. If necessary a small amount of turmeric can be added to the stock to add colour to the dish.
Try to use fresh chicken stock rather than cubes or powdered stock.
Arborio rice can be used as a substitute if Paella rice is unavailable.
Have all your ingredients prepared and ready to use before starting the cooking process.


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