I have a confession….I visited Helen Hicks at Rock Shandy a few years ago. Rob had been friends with Tony and Helen Hicks for decades but it was the first time I had met them. It was my birthday weekend so I decided to push my luck and asked her if I could borrow her fabulous star serving spoon! I don’t know what cam over me but I just had to have it….so here I am two and a half years later – I still haven’t returned the spoon! Helen is now one of my besties…the only trouble is I may have to borrow the spoon for a few more years.
A large pot of paella is like something that jumps up and screams ‘Let’s celebrate!’. I love the smoked spanish Safinter paprika…it has the same beautiful bright hue of traditional paprika but much sexier! Prepare the rice and place the pan (the new AMC range does come with steel handles) in a warm oven….add the seafood only when you are ready to serve.
Oh…and a quick word about the wine….feel free to leave it out….it tastes just as good without it!
Quick and Easy Paella
8 chicken thigh fillets
Flour, to dust chicken thighs
300g cleaned Falklands calamari, sliced
800g butterflied prawns, de-veined
Handful of thinly sliced red and yellow peppers
Sunflower oil to grill
50ml sunflower oil
7,5ml cumin seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 – 4 green chillies, finely chopped
4 sprigs thyme
15ml smoked Safinter paprika
4 tomatoes, blanched and chopped
100ml white wine, optional
2 stock cubes
250ml frozen peas
250ml boiling water
Salt to season
Black pepper to season
1000ml cooked Basmati Rice
Lemon wedges, to serve
Dust the chicken thighs with flour and shake away the excess.
Heat a skillet on medium and pour in a little oil.
Place the chicken thigh fillets on the skillet and fry until golden brown.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Saute the peppers for a few seconds and set aside.
Heat 50ml sunflower oil in a large thick bottomed pot.
Fry the cumin seeds until they begin to sizzle.
Add the onion and saute until translucent.
Add the garlic, green chillies and thyme.
Saute until the garlic is fragrant.
Add the paprika and saute for a few seconds.
Add the chopped tomatoes, wine and stock cubes.
Simmer until sauce reduces by a third.
Place the browned chicken thighs into the sauce and add the frozen peas.
Layer the cooked rice over the chicken.
Pour the water over the rice and cover with a tight-fitting lid.
Simmer the chicken and rice on a low heat.
To prepare the seafood:
Season the prawns and calamari with salt and black pepper.
Heat a large, thick bottomed pan and cook the butterflied prawns with a little sunflower oil until they change colour.
When the prawns are almost cooked through, remove from the pan.
Reheat the pan and drizzle a little sunflower oil over.
Add the sliced calamari and saute until it changes colour.
Remove the slices from the pan and set aside.
When the moisture has evaporated, scatter the cooked prawns, calamari and peppers over the paella rice.
Leave covered for a minute or two so the flavours infuse.
Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Season the paella with black pepper and garnish with coriander.
Toss the paella lightly before serving.
Serve with lemon wedges.
My favourite paprika is called Smoked Safinter Paprika…it smells heavenly! Try your local deli – I as always am lucky enough to live near a Spar that stocks it!!!
Cook the seafood only when you are ready to serve.
Check the seasoning before adding salt because the stock cubes have a high salt content.
Omit the wine and add more water if you prefer.
Adjust the green chilli according to taste.
Use a 400g tin tomatoes instead of fresh ones.
Always use cold rice for this recipe to prevent the grains from becoming sticky.
Contact AMC cookware for more details on their latest products – http://www.amcsa.co.za