Paella is one of my favourite
dishes, but made the traditional way, it can be a bit too much hassle for some people to attempt. In this version, I’ve used the technique of a baked risotto
to make it incredibly simple – just pop it in the oven, leave it be (it does
need a fair while in there), and it’ll come out juicy, bursting with flavour
and with the most gorgeous texture.
Half a ring of smoky chorizo
300 grams of risotto rice
1.5 pints of chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 220˚C
(200˚C fan). Start by roughly chopping the tomatoes, pepper and onion, then mix
together in the bottom of a large ovenproof dish (this is the dish that you
will make the whole paella in, so make sure it’s big enough). Peel and finely
chop the garlic, then sprinkle over the top of the vegetables with a bit of
rosemary and drizzle with olive oil. Once the oven is up to temperature, pop
the dish inside and set a timer for 20 minutes.
While the vegetables are
gently softening in the oven, slice the chicken breasts and mushrooms into
bite-sized chunks, and cut the chorizo into smaller pieces. When the timer
goes, take the dish out and mix in the rest of the ingredients – chicken,
chorizo, mushrooms, risotto rice and a tablespoon of turmeric. Season
generously, then add the chicken stock and make sure the liquid is spread
evenly throughout the dish. Return the dish to the oven and set a timer for 30
When the timer goes, give the
paella a really good stir, then try a little bit of rice – you should find that
the rice on top is getting there but that the rice from the middle or the
bottom needs a bit longer. Add more stock or boiling water (as much as you can
without the dish overflowing) and pop it back in the oven for about 20 minutes.
When the time’s up, stir again and try the rice from a couple of different
spots to make sure it’s cooked through.
Finally, serve up with a bit of melting
cheddar grated on top, and wash it down with a glass of red wine – perfect.