SMOKY SEAFOOD AND CHICKEN PAELLA
10 tbsp good-quality olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
A handful of fresh thyme sprigs
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp tomato paste
Salt, to taste
200g tomatoes, diced and peeled
1.2l good quality seafood or vegetable stock
¾ tsp saffron threads
600g Bomba rice (or medium-grain rice)
1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
250g squid, cleaned
300g chicken thighs, skinned, deboned and chopped
150g cooking chorizo, finely sliced
12 king prawns, whole and cleaned
150g red peppers, skinned
Lemon wedges, to serve
A handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Slice red peppers into strips 1cm thick and grill. Slice squid into rings 1cm thick.
Preheat oven to 150°C.
Place paella pan or large heavy-bottomed ovenproof skillet on a gas stove or burner at a medium-to-low heat to start making sofrito, the aromatic base of the paella. Add five tablespoons of olive oil and gently fry the onion until it becomes translucent. Turn the heat down low, add thyme and garlic and cook for one minute. Add tomato paste, a pinch of salt and cook for two minutes. Then add tomatoes, turn the heat up to medium and allow to cook down for about five minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick and rich. Pour into a dish and set aside.
Bring stock to the boil in a saucepan. Add saffron threads then remove from heat immediately.
Pour three tablespoons of olive oil into paella pan and toast rice with paprika and a pinch of salt over medium heat until the rice is well coated, continuously moving it around quickly so that it does not burn.
Add sofrito, briefly mixing it through the rice before adding stock. Bring liquid to the boil and evenly distribute rice. Try not to stir the rice again as it can take on a porridge-like consistency.
Once the stock is boiling, scatter calamari, chicken and chorizo over the rice on low heat. Simmer for five minutes, turning the chicken halfway through.
Add prawns and peppers on top and place the pan in the oven for 15 minutes. If it appears too dry, add a little liquid. Remove the pan from the oven and season to taste. Drizzle over the last two tablespoons of olive oil and allow the paella to rest for five minutes.
Serve with a lemon wedge and a generous scattering of parsley.