Recipe of the Week - Paella Valenciana

Paella is the dish and Paellera is the pan it’s cooked in. You can make it with just fish or meat, or it can even be made vegetarian. In the photo, it’s cooked in a large roasting pan for about 10 hungry family members at home on our firepit. Follow this recipe until you get a feel for it, and you can omit or add ingredients as you wish. You cook this in an oven at 200°c for 25-30 minutes or until cooked. Allow it to rest for a good ten minutes covered with a clean tea towel.

Ingredients (to serve six)
- 500g long-grain American rice (normally made with paella rice)
- 1 litre warm chicken stock (you may need a little more or less)
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus some more to drizzle over)
- ½ chicken cut into pieces
- 200g chorizo cut into small slices
- 500g rindless belly of pork cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1kg monkfish (or any other firm fish like snapper) cut into small pieces
- 500g squid cut into small pieces
- 250g peeled raw prawns
- ½ bag cleaned and scrubbed mussels
- 1 large can of chopped tomatoes
- 6 Mediterranean king prawns (cooked)
- 1 large chopped onion
- 1 red pepper cut into long strips, fried in a little oil
- 1 green chopped pepper
- 2 chopped garlic cloves garlic
- A handful of cooked peas
- 6 lemon wedges
- 1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped
- 1 pinch of saffron soaked in a little white wine or water for five minutes
- Sea salt to taste

Method
1. Firstly, put your oven on to 200°C.
2. Get your pan on the heat and add the olive oil.
3. Add your onions, garlic and green peppers, and cook until soft.
4. Add your chicken, chorizo, belly of pork and monkfish – lightly cook for five minutes.
5. Stir in the rice then add in the tomatoes and saffron, complete with wine/water.
6. Add the raw prawns and mussels, mixing well.
7. Add the stock – this should come just over the rice by about half an inch.
8. Bring to a gentle simmer slowly, being careful that nothing burns. At this stage, check the seasoning by adding the salt – be careful with this and don’t forget, you can always season more later.
9. Place the paella in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes.
10. Once it’s ready, you can taste the rice fortenderness, sprinkle with the peas and parsley, then add the cooked Mediterranean prawns, fried red pepper strips and lemon wedges to the top of the dish in a decorative manner.
11. Place the paella back into the oven for a few minutes to warm it through.
12. Take out of the oven and cover with the tea towel. Before serving, drizzle lightly with olive oil.