I never attempted this dish before with the excuse that I don't have a paella pan. After K's fried rice episode, I wanted to try it out...and hi, anyone knows where to get a decent paella in Kota Kinabalu?
Anyway, I figured if Rasa Malaysia could do a clay pot rice without the pot, a paella without the paellera would do just as well. I made do with a 14 inch pan. Searched through the Internet and adapting from 2-3 recipes (Global Delights, Spanish-Recipes ...) that looked promising and not too 'ma fun' (troublesome), I came up with this version after three attempts.
Definitely hit the jackpot with this one-pot dish to feed this hungry family that loves rice. It took more than 30 minutes (roughly 1 hour) but definitely worth the while. This paella relies on a good sofrito for its delicate flavour. The chicken and seafood contrast nicely with the sweet bell peppers and the delicate herbs.
Seafood and chicken Paella
4 chicken thighs, cut into small pieces, seasoned with salt and pepper
10-12 fresh prawns (2-3 per person)
2 cups rice, preferably short-grain
8 to 10 threads of saffron - immersed in the hot stock
3-4 cups hot stock or water, season with salt
1-2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
Freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste
Lemon wedges, to garnish
Ingredients for the sofrito:
2-3 ripe tomatoes, skinned and grated
1 big red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1) Set a 14-inch paella pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken; saute until the chicken is golden, 5 to 10 minutes.
2) Transfer the partially cooked chicken to a plate.
3) Reduce the heat to medium low. In the same pan, saute the red pepper slices slowly until they're very limp, adding more oil if necessary; transfer the pieces to a plate, cover with foil, and set aside. When cooled, peel off the skin.
6) Bring the stock to a boil, cook until the rice begins to appear above the liquid, 6 to 8 minutes. Lay the peppers in the pan, starburst-like. Continue to simmer, rotating the pan to cook all sides, until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is al dente, another 15 to 20 minutes.
7) If the liquid is absorbed but the rice is not done, add a little more hot stock or water to the pan and cook a few minutes more.
8) Add the prawns, cook for another 2 minutes with the pan covered, this will help to ensure that the prawns and the top layer of rice is evenly cooked.
9) With the cover still in place, increase the heat to medium high and, turning the pan, cook until the bottom layer of rice starts to caramelize, 1 to 2 minutes - you can hear a crackling sound, remove the pan immediately from the heat before a burnt smell is detected.
10) Let the paella rest, still covered, 5 to 10 minutes.
11) Garnish with lemon wedges, and serve.
1st try- Rice tasted good but was burnt black at the bottom...
2nd try- Used a bigger pan. Peeled the pepper but not the prawns, used hot water instead of stock.
good to the last morsel...
Note: Another item to my kitchen wish list - a 16" paella pan! This is one dish I will cook again... next try -- with clams and mussels!.