Paella on the Braai/BigGreenEgg
Well, I'm 2/3rds of the way through my promise to cook every week on the Braai, through rain, snow, -10c and the occasional sunny day! Very occasional, I think it's shone for about 10 days in 8 months but never mind, we BRAAI not matter what's happening outside.
This week I'm having a go at the quintessential Spanish dish “Paella” this is my version of it, it might not be what you think its should be and I'm not claiming to be an expert but this is a great Paella to start with and a good base for experimenting. So have a read and then give it a go and let me know what you think. Basically this is the Spanish version of a Potjie.
SERVES 4-6: PREP: 20MINS: COOK TIME: 20-30MINS
Rub Ingredients for your Paella:
- 700g x Chicken Meat (Leg, Thigh or Breast meat diced into bite-size pieces - keep the skin & bone on for extra flavour)
- 6 x Large Tiger Prawns
- 12 x Large Mussels
- 1 x fresh Squid cut into rings
- 700g x Spanish paella rice
- 200g x diced cooking choritzo
- 1 x Red pepper (sliced & roasted if possible)
- 1tsp of Sweet Paprika
- 3-4 x medium, ripe tomatoes or a large tin of chopped tomatoes
- 2lt x Hot chicken or vegetable Stock
- 1 x Medium onion, finely chopped
- Pinch of Saffron (I like quite a bit)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 x lemon (cut into wedges for decoration)
Don't forget to use a 40cm to 50cm Paella Pan, it makes all the difference.
Method how to prepare and cook Paella:
- Preheat the Braai/BigGreenEgg to 200ºF/94ºC.
- Add a few tablespoons of the olive oil in the Paella Pan and part cook the chicken pieces a little (longer if they contain bones) until its browned off.
- Make up the stock and add a good pinch of the saffron stamens. Let them infuse for about 20 mins.
- Next make the "Sofrito", one of the most important parts of the Paella, this is the tomato and onion mix which is the base of the paella.
- First sweat the onion in the Paella Pan until soft then add the chopped/tinned tomatoes and fry over a high heat, keep stirring.
- It will start to thicken up in to a thick dark paste. When it is a dark red paste you have the perfect sofrito!
- Next add the chorizo, paprika and about half of the peppers. Mix around thoroughly and continue fry for few more minutes.
- Now add the hot stock to the paella pan. Taste for salt and seasoning. It needs to be quite well salted, bring to the boil and leave for several minutes for all the flavours to mix in with the stock.
- Now add the rice, mix around briefly and even out in the pan ensure all the rice grains are under the surface of the liquid. DO NOT STIR the rice after this point.
- After about 10 minutes the rice should start to appear though the liquid.
- This is the point that you can add all the seafood that you have prepared earlier.
- Now turn down the heat and continue to simmer for about another 10 minutes until the rice starts to dry out. (If some rice starts to appear whilst other areas still have liquid you can carefully distribute the rice around with a spoon)
- Once most of the liquid has been absorbed, try the rice from under the top surface. It should be cooked "al dente" still with a slight nutty taste.
- Now cover the Paella pan with foil and turn up the heat for a minute or so. (You will hear the rice go "pop" as it is caramelising on the bottom of the pan). This is called the "Socarrat" the most highly prized part of Paella. Covering the pan at this stage also helps finish off the cooking of the top layer of rice.
- Turn off the heat. Decorate with lemon wedges and leave for a good 10 minutes to rest.
Serve directly from the pan at the table and remembering to scrape to the bottom to get the "socarrat", that's the greatest bit.
Add a crisp fresh salad and you will have the perfect meal for a sunny day, when it decides to come out again lol!
I wasn’t sure how this would work or even if it could be cooked on the braai but I must say it came out fantastically and everybody just loved it. Give it a try and let me know how yours comes out. I would love to hear if you have what you think is the best recipe, just leave it in the comment section below for everybody to see.