This Chicken Paella – Canarian Style is a very common dish in Gran Canaria. There is a lot of sea food added, so it is almost a mixed paella. It takes about two and half hours from preparing all the ingredients to the finished meal.
Cooking and Preparation Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
What you need:
- 1 kg of chicken cut to small pieces
- 1 piece of sepia (cuttlefish)
- Chopped tomato
- ½ kg clams & mussels
- 250g of fish according to taste
- ½ kg prawns
- Salt & (black) pepper
- Saffron or colourant
- ½ kg of short grain rice 1 handful per person plus a few for luck
- Red roasted peppers
- Optional: A handful of peas
My friend cooks it every Sunday for the extended family get together. One Sunday she allowed me to be her little helper and look over her shoulder as she was making it. Paella, as you know, is a traditional Spanish meal and it is quite easy to make.
Firstly put some olive oil in the pan and heat up until it is hot, add the chicken. Sauté the chicken until it looks almost done and has a nice golden brown colour. Next add the sepia and once sealed add the chopped tomato. Let it all cook gently for twenty minutes.
Step by step images above show a well oiled paella pan, the chicken ready to go in, chicken and sepia browning off and how it looks once the rice is added. Add all the rice at once and part of the stock. Let it simmer again for twenty minutes, whilst adding more stock little by little.
Add the clams and the mussels and let simmer for a while. Add the fish, prawns and roasted peppers and continue to cook. Add spices and finally turn the stove off, cover the pan with a foil and let sit for ten to twenty minutes. Don’t worry if there is stock left, it will boil away. Before taking the paella to the table decorate it with lemon and parsley.
Use a paella pan, which you can find at any iron mongers. NEVER stir a paella it is not a risotto, just shake it!! When you want to make seafood paella you just leave the chicken out. After washing the paella pan, cover it with oil before putting it away and it won’t rust like they usually do.
Originally paella was done on a wooden fire, but now people use paella rings which also can be bought at any iron mongers. This was actually the first time I ate paella. I have always been a bit picky when it comes to seafood and I was a bit hesitant about all the seafood in this paella, but I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised.
I actually liked the paella and all the seafood in it. Before eating the paella I did not know what cuttlefish means exactly and if I had known I would not have eaten any of it, but since I did not know I ate it and liked it.
This proves that when you do not know what you eat you do not have any prejudices and only taste matters. I still will not be eating any octopus tentacles in the future, but when there is cuttlefish in paella I will eat that.
Author: Kirsi Markkula
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