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zondag 17 juni 2012

Paella with chicken and sea fruit

paella nearly ready to serve

I made paella last year, and that was a complete disaster.
I didn't find fresh sea fruit so had to do with frozen sea food and found out that it didn't taste any better than pieces of rubber. I just used regular rice, which wasn't cooked through after absorbing the water. I didn't fry the chicken beforehand so the chicken was still raw at places. I didn't season enough which made the flavour bland ...

In short, making paella wasn't something I would try again soon. The disappointment of my fellow eaters was just too great and so obvious in their way of looking at me.

But I found something in the supermarket last week which would soon change my mind: a mix of sea fruit, already cooked but fresh.
My mind began racing and I took the decision of trying paella all over again.

We don't have a special paelle pan and buying one for the occasion is a bit out of proportion for me. Our own skillets would have to do.
I set off for another try at paella.

I have to say that the taste was just right. Of course, it can't compete with the authentic - made in a real paella pan - dish, but it's really worth trying andsuper easy!

Ingredients for 4:
- olive oil
- 1 red pepper, blackened, skinned and cut in small strips
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves of garlic, cut in very small pieces
- 100 grams fresh peas
- 8 cherry tomatoes, cut in half and dried in a 150°C oven for about 45 minutes
- 1 gram of saffron powder
- a pinch of paprika powder
- crushed chillies
- 200 grams sea fruit (prawns, mussels, squid, ...), already cooked
- 6 chicken legs (or any other part of chicken), already fried or grilled
- 300 grams paella rice (you can find it in any supermarket)
- salt and pepper to taste
- a little kurkuma for extra colour
- 1 fresh lime
- 600-700 ml of fish stock

How to:
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Fry the onion, the garlic, the pepper and the tomatoes until they've browned slightly.

Add the rice and spices and turn them in the pan so that each grain of rice is covered in a little oil and the spices are all over the ingredients.
Now pour the stock in, together with the chicken and the peas. Let it all simmer on medium heat with the lid on the pan. Check from time to time whether the rice is ready to be eaten and the stock has been taken up. If more stock is needed, add a little at the time. 
When the rice is just about ready but hasn't taken up all of the stock, add the sea fruit. They have to be added as late as possible so that they don't get rubbery (I learned from my mistakes!).

Before serving, let the paella stand for a few minutes so that the excess damp can evaporate.
Cut the lime in slices and put them on top of the paella on table. Everyone can now spoon his or her own serving. 


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