Saturday, 13th April 2013Book of Tapas and Spanish Cooking - Hilaire Walden p93. I think Paella is one of those dishes where you can vary the ingredients in the basic recipe quite a bit, so this was my variation.
I cut up a poussin into small pieces, browned these in oil for 10 minutes and removed them from the pan. The added onions and garlic, chopped red pepper and diced chorizo and bacon. Then I added 250 grammes of risotto rice (not really the best substitute, but OK), some paprika, and a small amount of red chili.
Then stock, where I had to guess the amount, since I wasn't following the recipe closely. For 350 grammes rice the recipe said 1.75 litres of stock, which seems a huge amount to me. I added a bit less than a litre, and that turned out to be more than enough.
I put the chicken back in and added 8 cherry tomatoes halved, rosemary and seasoning, and boiled for 10 minutes.
Then came the seafood. I used 6 small squid cut up, some mussels, 6 prawns in their shells, a red mullet fillet cut up into small pieces and two red king prawns. This was all scattered over the top and not stirred in (as in the photo).
This was then supposed to simmer for 10 minutes and then steam, off the heat with the lid on, for 10 more minutes. However, the pan I used was large and, although it bubbled fairly well in the middle the edges were not hot enough. It was soon obvious that neither the fish nor the rice was going to be cooked through in that time, and there was still too much liquid. In the end I let it simmer for about a half hour and then steam for 10 minutes.
In the end everything came out very nicely, with a delicious flavour. Both the fish and the rice were cooked about right, although the squid got a bit lost and there were too many mussels. The red mullet was particularly good.