Happy sunny days everyone! As soon as the weather starts to get better, the days get longer and we start spending more time outdoors, I start to crave paella – particularly when spending time with friends. It’s so convenient! It takes a bit of time to prep but then it comes together fairly quickly and you can really feed a crowd in the same amount of time as it would take you to feed a couple of people!
Now, let me be clear: I have not grown up in Valencia and therefore to all purists out there this is technically not paella but for the rest of us regular humans – I think you’ll enjoy it! I live in the UK so I use ingredients I find at the store, but if you want to go the extra mile and buy the rice, saffron, paprika powder and all the other things from Spain – please be my guest! It still won’t be real paella unless you’re making it in Valencia.
With that being said, I this recipe is yummy! I tend to make it with meat most of the time because 1. who doesn’t love chorizo and 2. not everyone loves seafood! But if you’re interested in seeing different variations let me know and I’ll show you! The basics are the same but there are a few variations, particularly when cooking with seafood. Also, you can leave the meat out altogether (but why would you?!) and just add some more veggies, plus use veggie stock to keep it completely veggie. Super versatile!
So if you want to learn how to make a basic chorizo and chicken paella let me show you what you need and how to make it so that you can enjoy it all summer long!
1 red pepper
3-4 cloves of garlic
400g short grain rice
1 tsp paprika powder
2 tbsp tomato sauce (or 1 tbsp tomato paste)
130ml white wine
Pinch of saffron
1.2L chicken stock (or stock cube)
120g frozen peas
Bunch of parsley
(Optional) 1 lemon
Olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
How to make it:
First, prepare your liquids:
Break apart the strands of saffron with your fingers and put them in a small amount of boiling water (about 50ml)
If you’re using a stock cube, dissolve it in boiling water (1.2L) at this point. If using stock, go to the next step!
Then, chop up all your main ingredients – your chicken, pepper, onion, garlic and chorizo
In a large pan (or ideally a paella pan) drizzle some olive oil and turn on your stove on high heat. Once it’s hot, fry up your chicken just until it gets some nice color. Season it with salt and pepper.
The chicken doesn’t need to be fully cooked at this point, we just want to give it some color.
When your chicken looks nicely golden, take it off the heat and set it aside.
If you need to, add a bit more oil and put the onion and pepper on the pan to fry them up. Again, we want some color to develop. Season with salt and pepper.
Once your veggies are looking nicely colored, add your garlic and chorizo and fry for another couple of minutes, until the garlic becomes fragrant and your chorizo starts to release some of its oils.
At this point, add in your paprika and tomato sauce (or paste) and stir it all together until it looks even in color.
Add in your rice and fry it up together with everything else for a minute or two until it all looks fairly uniform in color and your rice is starting to get a bit toasty.
At this point, add your wine and stir it all together until it’s pretty much evaporated completely.
Once you’ve cooked off your wine, add in your saffron and your stock, pop your chicken back in and mix everything well until it looks even.
This is important: put enough heat on your pan so that it boils gently (don’t want a rolling boil here) and LEAVE IT.Do not touch this anymore.
While your rice cooks, it’s a good time to chop up your parsley as fine as you want, and cut your lemon into wedges (if using it).
After about 15-20 min your water should be mostly gone – now you can touch your rice! Give it a gentle stir and try it.
If it’s cooked – jump to the next step.
If it still has a little bite to it, add in some more water (ideally hot), mix it gently and back off again, until the water is almost gone. Then repeat.
If your rice is cooked, add in your peas and mix them all through one last time. Keep going on a low heat until all your water is gone.
This is the other important part: once your rice is cooked and your water is gone, crank the heat up to highand listen to it.
Give it a couple of minutes or so – you should hear it sizzling. You want to lightly toast (not quite burn!) the bottom bit of your paella but here’s where it all can go wrong.
After a couple of minutes grab a spoon and gently lift some rice from the side of your pan. This should give you an idea of what’s going on at the bottom.
When you’re happy with your socarrat, turn off the heat and LET YOUR RICE REST. This is the last important thing here. It makes a huge difference!
It’s a good time to plop your lemon wedges on there and bring it to the table. Hopefully by the time you dig in it’s had enough time! 5-10 min should do the trick.
And that’s it – a delicious homemade paella for you and your family to enjoy!!
Sometimes it’s hard to tell just how much water you’ll need. It really depends on so many things! I like to start with 1.2L for the 400g of rice and just take it from there. I usually have some boiled water on the side so I can add some extra in and just keep cooking it. Just make sure to only stir when the water is pretty much gone!
This recipe is super easy to multiply – as a general rule, I calculate about 100g of rice per person, depending on sides and other foods. This paella makes enough for 4-6 people.
On this recipe I’ve used chicken breast as it’s what I had at home but actually, chicken thighs tend to work better. They are super flavourful and it’s nearly impossible to overcook them, particularly when making something in water! It’s definitely the better idea here.
If you want to skip the chicken altogether that’s also fine – just add more chorizo or veggies. Traditionally it’s made with rabbit so you’re also welcome to use that instead.
Remember when you cook anything to keep seasoning every layer of your dish! That’s how you get well-balanced dishes. It’s crucial and not any different in this situation.
If you don’t like wine, don’t worry – you can’t taste it here! It just adds a bit more depth of flavour and it’s another way to season your rice. If you’re worried about the alcohol, don’t be – it evaporates pretty much completely. If you really don’t want to use it though that’s also fine.
And that’s it! The most time-consuming part of making paella is the prep – particularly chopping up all the veggies and the meat. But apart from that it’s so easy and simple! And whether you’re making it for 2 or 8 people it pretty much takes the same amount of time which is also great when it comes to entertaining.
As I said before, it’s not technically a traditionalreal paella but for most people I think it does the trick! It’s yummy and flavourful and perfect to feed a crowd on a beautiful summer day!
I really hope that you give it a try and love it and as always, thanks for tuning in and supporting me! I really appreciate it and love to hear from you – what do you think? What do you want to see next?
Have a great start of the sunny season everyone and see you again soon!
Okay, let me just start off by saying that this is a recipe that I make in our barbecue. I’ve never been much of a BBQ snob but you know, being married to an American man it was kind of a requirement for us to have one. It’s one of those things!
In the beginning I felt super intimidated by it – I mean it’s this big, metallic thing with an actual fire burning inside. It was a bit scary! I thought Mike would be the one manning it for the most part but honestly, I started to play with it a bit and started trying out different foods – “let’s see how this cooks in there! And this! Do you think this will be okay in there?” – and it has actually ended up being kind of fun! Plus our BBQ is uber techy (which I love) and it’s a wood-burning one, which I wasn’t sure about before but it’s ended up being my favourite part!
The fact that it uses wood pellets just adds that extra layer of flavor that honestly I don’t think you can replicate. If you use a barbecue with coals it also has a very specific flavor, right? I know that having a gas BBQ is really convenient but if you care about the flavor profile and not just cooking something outside with friends and a beer (nothing wrong with that!), I’d definitely suggest that you look into getting a wood-burning BBQ. Ours is from Traeger if you’re interested, but there’s others out there too!
Anyways, all of that is to say that I never really used to cook big cuts of meat like this – I’d usually just roast them slowly in the oven with some potatoes and a sauce (nothing wrong with that either!) – but after trying it a couple of times it’s such a nice experience cutting into it and seeing the smoke ring and just in general, having meat cooked in a totally different way (for me at least)! So if you’ve got a grill and you want to give this a try, here’s how to do it.
First things first:
Take the brisket out of the fridge an hour or so before preparing it
Prepare your barbecue or smoker if you’re using one (clean etc)
Make sure to have a meat thermometer on hand!
1 1/2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp garlic
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tbsp mixed herbs (or italian seasoning)
1/2 tbsp paprika
What to do:
First you need to prepare your meat. You can do this an hour or so before cooking but if you did it the day before it would be even better! I’ve used a 1.5 – 2kg brisket for this and the amount of rub is more than enough.
Remove any of the ties that usually hold the brisket together to make sure it’s all one flat piece. Use some paper towels to pat it down and make sure it’s completely dry.
Score the top of your brisket – using a small, sharp knife make a diamond pattern on the fat side (try not to cut any deeper!)
Mix your rub ingredients together (obviously you can use a different blend but this is my favourite!)
Generously spread the rub all over your meat. Top, bottom, sides… make sure it’s really well coated. Use your hands and pat it in to make sure it sticks.
Now you can let it rest for as long as you want. If you’re going to leave it overnight just pop it in the fridge but if not you can just leave it on your countertop or somewhere safe for a while, until you’re ready to start making it.
Make sure your BBQ (or oven) is preheated to 105C. If you have a fancy shmancy one like us you’ll want to set it on super smoke for extra flavor but if not it’ll still be delicious I’m sure!
Pop your brisket on your grill, fat side down. Make sure to use a meat thermometer as this is what will dictate how long it stays in for!
When your meat reaches an internal temperature of 70C (for this size it took me about 3h), take your brisket out and wrap it in aluminum foil. Pop it back in and get the thermometer back in. If you’re using your super smoke function I’d turn it off now.
Once the internal temperature of your brisket has reached 95C (should take another 3ish hours), take your meat out of the barbecue (or oven) and let it rest on your counter for about 30min – 1 hour.
Once it’s rested, remove the aluminum foil (careful as it’s probably full of juices!) and slice your brisket against the grain.
And that’s it! Delicious smokey brisket – takes a long time but little to no effort!
I would really recommend that you season the meat the night before. The longer it sits in that rub, the better it’ll taste and also, it takes a looong time to cook and if you’re making it outside you may want to maximize your daylight.
If you’ve got some extra rub don’t discard it! It’s a great seasoning blend that you can use with other meats or veggies – on this day I used it to season my butternut squash but I’ve also used it on steak and chicken!
Cooking times will vary significantly depending on your grill, the outside temperature, and obviously the size of your brisket. This is why for something like this I’m fully guided on internal temperatures. Cooking thermometers are cheap so if you’re planning on making stuff like this I’d suggest you invest in one!
If you don’t have a barbecue but you’ve got a smoker I’m pretty sure you can use that as well! Just make sure to still use a meat thermometer and it’ll be the same.
Obviously if you make it in the oven you won’t have the smoky flavor but it’ll still be tender and delicious! I’d suggest using one of those racks that you’d use to make a whole roast chicken or turkey and on the bottom of that you can probably put some potatoes and when the meat drips it’ll flavor them like you wouldn’t believe it. Yum!
And that’s it! I know not everyone’s got a barbecue and much less a fancy shmancy one like we do – but if you do this is a great thing to make with it! Your brisket comes out super smoky and tender and juicy. The rub gives it a great flavor and whichever wood you decide to use it’ll give it a very particular smoky flavor too.
If you decide to make it I’d suggest pairing it with my roasted butternut squash and maybe some greens on the side but you can also cut it very thinly and use it for sandwiches or even chopped up into a frittata. The options are endless! I hope you like recipes like this and you give it a try! If you do make sure to share it with me and as always, thanks for reading me and see you again soon!
Roast chicken is one of those staple meals that everyone should know how to make. When I was growing up, my parents and I used to love getting rotisserie chicken every once in a while and it felt like such a treat! That distinct roast chicken flavour with the crispy skin and those beautiful juices at the bottom… if you know what I’m talking about then it’s very likely that your mouth is watering too.
Chicken is such a versatile meat, but to be honest I got so sick of it during my medschool years that I just didn’t want to ever see it on my plate! I still go in waves about this actually – it’s something that we eat so often that I just get so bored of it and I don’t know how to make it anymore. When this happens to me I always go back to making a beautifully golden roast chicken and every single time it helps. It never fails! Always delicious, with a crispy skin and yummy juices. Plus the potatoes – obviously.
So there are a few tips and tricks that will hopefully help you make the best roast chicken ever and also once you master it you can apply most of these tricks to any other bird – like a Thanksgiving turkey! (I know I’m not American but hey – any excuse to eat delicious food!). I will share a recipe on that later on.
First things first:
Get your chicken out of the fridge so it comes to room temperature – about an hour or so is about right, but a few hours won’t do it any harm either!
Take the butter out of the fridge to soften up – I usually do this at the same time as the chicken
Preheat your oven to 200C
Whole chicken – I used a 2kg free-range chicken
Potatoes – as many as you like, I used 1kg
Onions – I used 2
Garlic – as many or as few cloves as you lik
Rosemary – few sprigs
Dried herbs and seasoning (read below)
1 cup chicken stock (or stock cube)
1 cup white wine
Prepare your butter – take the softened butter and mix in whatever herbs and seasoning you like – I like to add salt, pepper, garlic powder, mixed Italian herbs and onion powder but I change my seasonings depending on how I’m feeling.
Cut up your potatoes and onions and place them on a large roasting tray with your garlic and rosemary. Drizzle some oil, salt and pepper and mix them up until they’re evenly seasoned.
Make a little pocket under the skin of your chicken. Do not skip this step!! Might seem a bit gross but honestly it makes all the difference. Just near the opening separate the skin from the meat with your fingers and extend that opening through as much of the breast as you can.
With a small spoon, put the butter in those pockets you’ve just created and spread it with your hands. Make sure to also get onto the leg creases!
Once you’ve put the butter under the skin, rub the rest of it all over the chicken.
Place your chicken either on a roasting rack like I have here, or directly on top of your potatoes and onions. Either way would work!
Sprinkle a small amount of salt and pepper over your chicken and drizzle a bit of olive oil to maximize crispiness
Place your tray in the oven and roast for about 30-45min (about halfway through cooking). Then take it out and pour your chicken stock and white wine all over your chicken and potatoes mixture. Put it back in the oven and roast for another 45min or until it’s fully cooked through.
Lots of nice pictures online (and well-known chefs) will show you trussed chicken – that’s using twine to tie up the chicken so that the ends don’t burn and it all cooks evenly – but honestly for normal everyday home cooks I don’t think there’s a point in doing that. If you just leave it all loose, tuck the wings underneath and let the legs hang where they want to, it all cooks pretty evenly anyways. Plus you get lots of crispy skin!
If your oven heats up unevenly I’d suggest turning the chicken when you get it back in the oven halfway through cooking so it cooks evenly.
I don’t tend to use a meat thermometer very often but if you want to use it you should place it in the thickest part of your chicken, making sure to not be touching bone. When it reaches 73C it’s all good to eat.
If you don’t have a meat thermometer don’t worry! When you think it’s done, pull the leg away from the body and make a little incision in that leg meat. If the juices come out clear and the meat looks opaque, it’s fully cooked. If there’s any remnants of pink in either the meat or the juices, pop it back in the oven for about 10-15min and test again on the other side.
As a general rule, for a 2kg chicken cooked at 200C it takes it about 1h 20-30min to cook through.
Let the chicken rest when it comes out of the oven! Like when you cook any kind of meat, don’t cut into it as soon as it’s cooked. Let it sit for about 10-15min and then you can carve it. Don’t lose those precious juices by cutting into it too soon!
You can change up the veggies if you’re not that into potatoes (is that even a thing?!) or if you want to cut down carbs a bit. I’d suggest using things like carrots, parsnips, celeriac and sweet potatoes. Basically choose something hearty that will be fine in the oven for a long time.
And that’s it! It takes a bit of prepping but you can feed a crowd (or meal prep for the week) with very little effort! I love recipes where you don’t have to be standing over the stove for hours, particularly on weekdays or for dinner parties – it’s so much more convenient! These proportions will feed 4 people happily without any other sides but if you want to feed more people I’d suggest you give my husband’s favorite salad a try as a light but filling side! Also you can use a larger amount of potatoes or other veggies and a bigger bird if you’re feeding more.
I hope that you found this recipe helpful and that you give it a try – would love to hear your thoughts on it! Thanks for reading me and see you again soon!!