Chicken & chorizo paella with alioli

by Kathy Snowball | Cuisine issue #150
Serves: 6-8Years ago I was informed that the Spanish never mix seafood and meat in a paella - only foreigners do that. Ever since, I have made sure to either make seafood or meat paella, never both in one dish.

I have used chicken thigh cutlets here because they cook evenly. Alternatively, you could joint a whole chicken and use the pieces. Alioli is a Spanish garlic mayonnaise.

2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
200ml olive oil

Put the yolks, lemon juice, garlic and mustard in a food processor. Process until combined then, with the motor running, slowly pour in the oil in a thin stream, continuing to process until thick. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Chicken & chorizo paella
1⁄2 cup olive oil
8 chicken thigh cutlets
1 chorizo, cut into 1cm slices
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
100g prosciutto, chopped
5 large tomatoes, peeled, deseeded, chopped
1⁄2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 2 tablespoons boiling water for 10 minutes
1&1⁄2 cups Calasparra or arborio rice
250ml dry white wine
3 cups hot chicken stock
150g green beans, trimmed, cut into 4cm lengths
green salad and lemon wedges to serve

Heat the oil in a 34cm paella pan over high heat then brown the chicken and chorizo, in batches, until golden. Remove from the pan.

Reduce the heat to low and add the onion to the pan. Fry for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and prosciutto and cook, stirring, for 1 minute then add the tomatoes, paprika, cumin and saffron mixture and cook over high heat until the mixture has thickened.

Add the rice and stir to coat in the tomato mixture. Combine the wine and hot stock then add 1 cup of the mixture to the pan and cook over high heat for 5 minutes, moving the pan around to distribute the heat evenly and form a crust on the base of the pan. Add three-quarters of the remaining stock mixture, along with the chicken, chorizo and beans. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15-20 minutes, without stirring, or until the chicken is cooked, the rice is tender, and the liquid has been absorbed – add more stock mixture if necessary.

Remove the paella from the heat, cover with a tea towel and stand for 10 minutes before serving with alioi,
a green salad and lemon wedges.

Wine - A dark, intense Spanish red from Rioja.

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