If there’s something I really do like when I cook (apart from the food itself), it’s the idea of the least washing-up possible. The less pots and pans I use, the better. I have over time turned into a bit of a “one pot cooking expert”. So when it comes to the choice of one-pot dishes they tend to be either soups/stews/stir-fries or big salads.
There is, however, another option, and one that will add some Mediterranean flavours to your dinner table: paella. One big dish with rice, chicken, peas and spices – what could possibly be better? Now, in the name of honesty, I’m not claiming that this paella is particularly authentic (it isn’t), but it does taste great and will definitely satisfy any hankering for some Spanish flavours. Plus, although slightly unconventional, you can also cook your paella in the oven (yes – really!) and this can be the key to making sure the meat is cooked thoroughly whilst remaining as juicy as possible.
300g paella rice
2 chicken breasts
800ml chicken stock
200g frozen peas, defrosted
1 large onion
3tbsp olive oil
200g chorizo sausage
200g king prawns (with shell on if possible)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1tsp sweet paprika
1tsp hot paprika
4 chopped tomatoes
100ml white wine
1 lemon, cut into wedges
I like to do all chopping first so all ingredients are ready to be added to the pan.
Cut the chicken breasts into small pieces. Finely chop the onion. Cut the chorizo into thick slices and cube the tomatoes.
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the chicken breast pieces and brown them from all sides over a medium heat. Alternatively, you can cook your meat in the oven and add it to the paella pan later on.
Take the chicken out of the pan. Put the onion and chorizo into the pan and cook until the onions are soft.
Add the minced garlic and paprika and stir into the mix.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for around 5 minutes.
Add the rice and stir into the mix.
Heat the mix and add the wine. Bring to a boil and simmer until the wine has been soaked up.
Put the cooked chicken back into the pan and mix.
Add the stock, bring back to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer uncovered until all the stock is absorbed.
Add the peas and stir them into the rice.
Put the prawns on top.
Cover the pan and cook on a low heat until the rice is softened. Alternatively, you can cook the paella uncovered in the oven rather than in the pan. Cut the lemon into wedges for decorating just before serving.
Serve with a glass of chilled wine.