Chicken & Prawn ‘Paella’

I am sure you have all heard about the Spanish rice dish called paella. A few years ago, my husband travelled to Barcelona for a conference, and obviously while there, he had to try this dish. He tried it twice; the first time in Girona, in a traditional Catalan restaurant, and the paella was really delicious and full of flavour. He gave it another go, this time in Barcelona, but unfortunately, it was not as good as the first. Ever since that trip, we wanted to try and make paella at home but for some reason or another we have never done it. Until last weekend! 🙂

I cannot say that this is the traditional recipe to the paella. To start with, I did not have the proper type of rice, so I opted for wholegrain rice. The traditional Valencian recipe calls for rabbit meat and snails. However, I opted for chicken thighs and tiger prawns. It often includes beans, which I did not include in mine.

So, here’s my twist on the Spanish paella dish 🙂

Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 150g wholegrain rice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 boneless chicken thighs
  • 8 frozen tiger prawns, peeled, tail on
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 90g frozen peas
  • 250ml chicken stock, hot
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp paprika, divided
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Sea salt & pepper
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

Method:

  1. Rinse the rice under running water until the water comes out clean.
  2. Dice the onion, chop the garlic and the red pepper. Cut the tomatoes into small cubes. Set them aside.
  3. Cut the chicken thighs in bite-size cubes. Coat with 1/2 tablespoon paprika, 1 teaspoon oregano, salt and pepper. In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and fry the chicken on all sides until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set it aside.
  4. In the same pan, top up the olive oil (if necessary) and add the onion, garlic and red pepper. Cook until onion is translucent.
  5. Add the rice and mix with the onion so that the rice soaks up any juices and flavours. Add 1/2 tablespoon paprika and a good pinch of saffron.
  6. Pour 200ml chicken stock over the rice, bring to boil and lower the heat. Let it cook for 20 minutes. Then check if the rice needs more cooking and if yes add the remaining 50ml of hot chicken stock.
  7. Add the chopped tomatoes, frozen peas, tiger prawns, chicken pieces and any accumulated juices. Cook for another 3 minutes until prawns are opaque throughout.
  8. Mix in the chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges on the side.

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