This is a real leftovers kind of a dish! You can practically use whatever you have in the fridge – in the past I have used chopped sundried tomatoes, leftover pork, quartered artichokes, broad beans, butter beans – most things work well, but maybe don’t add too many things in one dish!
There are no rules to the recipe given either e.g it will taste fine without the green beans and onion, but the absolute must is the chorizo and saffron. It is the key flavouring and won’t be paella-ey without it. Needs no accompaniment except a glass of Rioja.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
½ onion, chopped (optional)
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary needles, chopped or a pinch of dried
½ red pepper, diced
1 chicken breast, diced (or use leftovers from a roast)
10cm long piece of chorizo, thinly sliced
1 tomato, diced
100g bomba paella rice or arborio rice
½ tsp paprika – sweet or picante
Pinch chilli flakes or cayenne pepper (optional)
Few green beans, halved
Pinch of saffron threads, softened in a tablespoon of hot water
1 litre chicken stock, hot
3 tbsp frozen peas
Small handful of peeled prawns, defrosted in frozen
Heat the oil in a large saute pan and gently fry the garlic, onion and rosemary until pale golden. Tip in the peppers and chicken and fry for about 2-3 minutes until the chicken is opaque and firm. Add the chorizo and fry, stirring, until it starts releasing its paprika-red oil and slightly crisp. Next goes in the tomato, rice, spices and season with salt and pepper. Stir for about 30 seconds until the rice is coated in the spicy oils. Throw in the green beans, saffron and its soaking water and pour in enough hot stock to cover the rice mixture by about 1 cm. Bring to boil then turn heat to a slow simmer and cook uncovered for about 10-15 mins, stirring once or twice to stop the mixture sticking to the pan.
Add the peas and prawns and top up with a couple more splashes of stock to cover. Continue to simmer for another 5-10 minutes until the rice is cooked and the most of the liquid has absorbed.
I like my paella to have a slight glossy sheen of sauce on it, but you may prefer yours a bit drier.