Pairings

Paella with Chicken, Chorizo & Prawns with a superb Spanish red wine

pairings

If a savoury fiesta of flavours and colours in a pan is what you’re after, then look no further than a Spanish paella. I love the rainbow medley of colours. Don’t they say that the more colourful your plate, the better it is for you? Well, I hope that’s the case because I love paella and this one sure won’t disappoint. My version is so versatile because you can add your own combination of ingredients, depending upon the season or availability of fresh produce or your own dietary needs.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups fish, chicken or vegetable broth
  • generous pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 cups paella rice
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts (tinned or in the jar) drained
  • 3 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 400g chopped tinned tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups frozen green peas
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g (approx) diced chicken breast trimmed of fat (organic and/or corn fed is best)
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 5 spring onions finely diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250g chopped chorizo pieces
  • Choose 2 to 3 of the following:
    • 200g fresh uncooked mussels with or without shells
    • 200g large fresh uncooked prawns
    • 200g fresh sliced calamari
  • 200g cooked small prawns
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:

Begin by bringing the 4 cups of whichever broth you choose to a simmer and add the pinch of saffron threads. Keep warm until you’re ready to add it later.

Combine the rice, chopped artichoke hearts, paprika, tinned tomatoes and frozen peas in a separate bowl.

Dice the chicken breast, removing any fat. You want the pieces to be about half an inch wide. Chop the cloves of garlic and dice the spring onions making sure to discard the white part.

If you have a paella pan…great! If you don’t, you will need a pan that is at least 12 inches wide and about 2-3 inches deep. A large saucepan will do.

Begin by adding the olive oil to the pan and turn heat to medium-high. Once the olive oil is relatively warm, add the diced chicken and cook for about 1 minute on each side*. Then add the garlic and spring onions. Cook for another minute and then add the teaspoon of salt and chorizo.

*Note: you’re only browning the chicken because it will cook for another 15 minutes with the rice mixture. You don’t want to overcook it because the chicken will dry out.

Next, add the rice, artichoke hearts, paprika, tinned tomatoes and frozen peas to the chicken and chorizo mixture. Combine ingredients evenly and then add the 4 cups of the saffron broth. Bring the ingredients to a gentle boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

When the mixture has cooked for about 12 minutes, add your fresh uncooked seafood (mussels**, large prawns, calamari, etc…). I add these towards the end so they don’t get overcooked. I hate overcooked, rubbery seafood!!! This is a great opportunity to gently mix the ingredients together by scraping the bottom of the pan. Do this just a bit. The rice will begin to have a gooey consistency and the liquid will begin to reduce.

**If you’re cooking with fresh shelled seafood such as mussels, ensure that the shells open fully. Don’t eat any that won’t open because this means they aren’t good and need to be discarded.

Finally, when 15 minutes are up, add the cooked prawns and stir together with all the ingredients. Cook for an additional minute. Then serve with a glass of your favourite Spanish wine!


Wine Pairing:

I normally would have paired this with a medium bodied rioja or even a crisp, white Albariño, but my husband found an Ermita de San Lorenzo Gran Selección 2011 in our cellar, which is a medium-bodied, red from the Campo de Borja region of Spain. This area is known for the Garnacha grape (Grenache in France), Tempranillo and others. This particular wine is 60% Garnacha grapes from vines planted in 1958 and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. I found the wine to have a balanced tannin structure with smooth blackberry, black cherry, spice and subtle tobacco flavours with a lengthy finish. As this isn’t a very overpowering red, it works well with this paella dish. Cheers!


Paella with Chicken, Chorizo & Prawns

If a savoury fiesta of flavours and colours in a pan is what you're after, then look no further than my version of a Spanish paella.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: paella, seafood, Spanish wine
Servings: 6 people

Equipment

  • paella pan

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fish, chicken or vegetable broth
  • generous pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 cups paella rice
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts (tinned or in the jar)
  • 3 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 400 grams chopped tinned tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups frozen green peas
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 400 grams diced chicken breast trimmed of fat (organic and/or corn fed is best)
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 5 spring onions diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250 grams chorizo pieces chopped
  • 200 grams frozen cooked baby prawns

Choose 2 – 3 of the following

  • 200 grams fresh uncooked mussels with or without shells
  • 200 grams large fresh uncooked prawns
  • 200 grams fresh sliced calamari

Instructions

  • Bring 4 cups of whichever broth you choose to a simmer and add the pinch of saffron.
  • Keep the broth warm until you're ready to add it later.
  • Combine the rice, chopped artichoke hearts, paprika, tinned tomatoes and frozen peas in a separate bowl.
  • Dice the chicken breast into 1/2 inch pieces, removing any fat.
  • Chop the cloves of garlic and dice the spring onions making sure to discard the white part.
  • You will need a pan that is at least 12 inches wide and about 2-3 inches deep.
  • Add the olive oil to the pan and turn heat to medium-high. Once the olive oil is relatively warm, add the diced chicken and cook for about 1 minute on each side.
  • Add the garlic and spring onions. Cook for another minute.
  • Add the teaspoon of salt and chorizo.
  • Next, add the rice, artichoke hearts, paprika, tinned tomatoes and frozen peas to the chicken and chorizo mixture.
  • Combine ingredients evenly and then add the 4 cups of the saffron broth.
  • Bring the ingredients to a gentle boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • After 12 minutes, add your fresh uncooked seafood (mussels, large prawns, and/or calamari.
  • Gently mix the ingredients together by scraping the bottom of the pan.
  • Finally, when 15 minutes are up, add the cooked baby prawns and stir together with all the ingredients. Cook for an additional minute.
  • Dish up immediately so everything stays warm!
  • Wine pairing: Serve with your favourite medium-bodied Spanish red.