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Brindisa Paella

Paella is a classic Spanish recipe, with many variations. Our version below lists optional ingredients, such as seafood and fresh vegetables, so that you can develop our recipe and create your own. The paella should be cooked in a shallow paella pan. Unlike risotto, the liquid in paella is all added at once, and the rice should not be stirred during cooking. You can shake the pan occasionally to move the rice but a crust called a Socarrat forms on the base.

Preparation time : 5 minutes. Cooking time : 25 mins, serves 4.

Ingredients
200g Brindisa cooking chorizo, hot or mild, chopped into 1cm chunks
4 chicken thighs, or around 200g of prawns, if you prefer
315g Brindisa Fritada
1 heaped tsp La Chinata paprika
400g Bomba rice
1 pinch Bealar saffron
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
150g Ostargi piquillo peppers, cut into strips around 1cm wide and 2.5cm long
4 tbsp olive oil
2 good handfuls peas, fresh or frozen
1 handful parsley, to garnish
1 lemon, quartered, to garnish
1 splash Valdespino sherry vinegar, or white wine for extra depth of flavour (optional)
2 handfuls fresh vegetables, such as broad beans or baby courgettes
Prepare Ahead
You will need a paella pan for this recipe.

Method
Cook the chorizo plus any other optional raw ingredients, such as chicken or prawns in the pan, then remove and set aside.
Pour in the fritada, warm through and add the paprika.
Add the rice; stir for a minute or two until well coated (optional: dash of wine or vinegar at this stage). Soak the saffron in the hot stock, then add enough stock to almost fill the paella pan.
The paella will take approximately 25 minutes, keep tasting to check the consistency of the rice and seasoning. Cook over a medium heat to allow the rice to cook through evenly. If you have a heat diffuser on a gas stove, it it worth using it to avoid overcooking any area.
Return the chorizo to the pan plus any optional chicken, prawns etc. 5-10 minutes before the end.
Finally add the piquillo peppers and peas at the end to cook through. Items added towards the end can sit on top of the paealla and just be pushed down slightly into the rice.
When the rice is done and the liquid is absorbed, turn the heat off and cover the paella with a cloth or foil for a couple of minutes; this helps to finish cooking the rice and makes it fluffier.
Scatter with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Success Stories
We were both on Gourmet Dating and at first it seemed unbelievable that we lived just a mile from each other. That gave us plenty to talk about because we both were familiar with local places and knew the same restaurants. We agreed that our dating would be just a friends thing - just someone to go out with, as we were both recovering from relationships that had gone wrong. Our first date was 6 months ago and we kept to our word, but as the weekly meals out became better and better we realised that we were going to be friends forever. The passion we shared for food helped us to build what I think is an amazing relationship and I wouldn't change this for the world.
Briony & Tom - Hastings

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