11 August 2014

Getting my chop on and Paella

Slicing, dicing, chopping, the rhythm of the repetitive movement so relaxing and the cheapest kind of therapy I can get.

I do it slowly and calmly, winning no races, just chop chop chopping.

I love getting everything prepared so I can just put it all in the pot when it’s needed.

Cooking is such a methodical, organised part of my life when life can be anything but organised and methodical.

This chicken and chorizo paella recipe was perfect for me to get my knife skills in action chopping onions, garlic, capsicum and chorizo. It was also the first time for me to cook paella and I will certainly be making this one again.

Chicken and chorizo paella

Chicken and chorizo paella
Adapted from Jamie Oliver does…

Serves 6-8

Olive oil
2 raw chorizo sausages, thickly sliced
300g cooked chicken, roughly chopped
1 green pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
a small bunch of fresh parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped, stalks finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a good pinch of saffron
300g Arborio rice
200g jarred red peppers in oil, drained and roughly chopped
400g can of diced tomatoes
1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock
150g snow peas, sliced thinly at an angle
1 lemon


Heat a large wide-based pan over a medium heat and add a glug of olive oil and the sliced chorizo (if you use uncooked chicken add it to the chorizo). Fry for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. As soon as the chorizo starts taking on colour and the fat is beginning to cook out of it, add the chopped peppers, garlic, onion and parsley stalks along with a good pinch of salt and pepper and the saffron. Fry gently for another 10 minutes, or until the vegetables have begun to soften.

Add the rice and jarred peppers and keep stirring for a few minutes until the rice is coated in all the lovely flavours, then pour in the tinned tomatoes and 800ml of stock, seasoning again with salt and pepper. Bring everything to the boil, then turn down to a medium to low heat and stir constantly for about 15 minutes. Make sure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan as it absorbs the liquid, so keep stirring.

After 15 minutes the rice should be cooked, but still have a bit of a bite. Add the cooked chicken at this point. You may want to add an extra splash of stock here if the rice looks a bit dry. Keep stirring and cook for another 5 minutes or until chicken heats through. Add your green beans and cook for a further 5 minutes while stirring. Stir in the chopped parsley and the juice from half your lemon. Cut the other half of the lemon into wedges for serving. Enjoy!