Monday, September 12, 2005

Chicken Paella

My family's favorite restaurant is Trellis near the back of Quezon City Hall in the Philippines. And everytime we go there, we always, always order paella and sisig. I've been borrowing cook books from the library and when I saw a recipe for chicken paella, I just had to try it (and was raring to use the cute casserole pot that Erwin and Joan gave me for my birthday) . I cooked this last Saturday for our Bible study group and they loved it. It's kinda like arroz valenciana or a Spanish version of risotto. This paella did not taste like the one from Trellis but it reminded me enough of that original dish to transport me to all those happy shared occassions.

Chicken Paella
(Adapted from Good Food Fast by Jenni Fleetwood)

8 chicken legs (can also use wings or thighs)
4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground turmeric (called ‘dilaw’ in the Philippines)
1-2 chorizo sausages
1 cup long grain rice (jasmine or basmati)
2 ½ cups chicken stock
1 red capsicum (bell pepper), seeded and sliced
1 cup frozen or fresh peas
salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a 30cm pan or a large casserole and brown the chicken pieces. Add the onion and garlic and stir in the turmeric. Cook for 2 minutes over medium heat.

Slice the chorizo and add to the pan. Then put in the rice and stock. Bring to the boil and season to taste with the salt and pepper. I put in some Vegeta (vegetable powder stock) as well. Lower the heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Put in the sliced red pepper and peas. Stir frequently for a further 10-15 minutes or until the rice has absorbed the stock and the chicken is already thoroughly cooked.

Variations: the paella in Trellis also has shrimp and shellfish, the original recipe also called for tomatoes