I was given a kilo bag of calasparra rice last Thursday (birthday gift, valentine's day - don't, I know, very fucking hilarious).
The previous evening I'd written out the next week's menu (my 'week' tends to start on Thursday, because that's when the money comes in) which, dinner-wise, read:
Thu: onglet + gratin dauphinois
Fri: macaroni cheese
Sat: sausages + peppers
Sun: spaghetti + broccoli
Mon: rice + chicken
Tue: cod + lentils
Wed: omelette + salad
I had intended to use this recipe for the rice and chicken, but the gift of calasparra prompted a change of tack away from a risotto and more towards a kind of paella (and I've always got a chorizo sausage or two in the freezer and a tin of spanish paprika in the cupboard).
Then at the weekend, as if by celestial decree, the Guardian featured a recipe for arroz con pollo y chorizo from the inestimable Nieves Barragán Mohach, executive chef for Fino and Barrafina. Here's a lovely little (1 min 23 secs) film about Barrafina to make you ache with longing to go there NOW (or at least buy the book):
But that dish, stupendously delicious and authentic no doubt, has sixteen ingredients and I wanted a midweek-simple kind of a recipe. Also, my home-made chicken stock was already flavoured with carrot, celery and bay (NBM uses water).
So here's the (also delicious) result, made with just these eight ingredients:
serves two (or one greedy person)
1 chorizo cooking sausage (approx. 75g), in small chunks
approx 180g chicken meat (thighs or breast), in bite-size chunks
½ onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp thyme leaves
¼ tsp of Spanish sweet smoked paprika
100g paella rice
200ml chicken stock
salt + black pepper
In a suitable pan, fry the chorizo over a low heat - so most of its oil leaches out into the pan by the time it's cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a plate (not kitchen roll, because you'll want to pour back any juices that collect into the pan later). Increase the heat and fry the chicken pieces briefly. Remove these from the pan onto the same plate as the chorizo. Now add the onion to the pan and, after a minute or so, the garlic and thyme leaves. When the onion has softened, add the paprika, stir, add the rice and stir again. Pour in 200ml of chicken stock, and add back the chorizo, chicken and any juices. Bring to a simmer and cook over a low heat, covered, for about 20 minutes. After about 5 minutes season to taste and stir again. Stir a few more times while it's cooking to ensure the rice doesn't stick to the base of the pan. If all the stock has been absorbed before the rice is cooked (though this shouldn't happen) add a little water. The finished dish should be moist but not sloppy.
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