Monday, October 13, 2014

Baked shrimp and chicken paella

Saffron is known to be the most expensive spice on Earth. A kilo of these golden threads is enough to buy you a ridiculously expensive crocodile skin its meat. Yeah, it's that expensive. Fortunately, you don't have to marry a well- tattooed  underwear model,-cum -hair and fashion trend-setter -cum  - retired footballer named Beckham, to be able to afford it. We ,  non- zero sized  mere mortals could purchase a pinch, a flick or a dust of this luxe spice to  perk our risottos, bisque, chowders and paellas. A few thread is what one need for it goes a long way.

I was at a local market in Andalucia, Spain last summer, when the sight of a stall selling spices caught my attention. It was the Paella mix spice that particularly pique my interest. Andalucia, particularly Valencia, is famous for their paella.  Knowing that saffron is the most essential spice that gives this rice dish its characteristic colour and taste, I was rather surprise how cheap this mix spice is. It did not take long before I was happily swaying a plastic tote bag containing a quarter kilo each of Mandras curry and paella mix , worth an astonishing 5 euros . Imagine how many pots or curry and pas of paella will I be making with these! What a steal!

I made Beef mandras curry, using that curry powder  for the family on my b-day celebration at home. Needless to say, everybody immensely enjoyed it . This week, I decided to give the paella mix a try. I was equally happy with the result Here's how I did it.

Oven baked paella ala Emily


4 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and finely diced
500 g, chicken cut into pieces
300 g paella rice
600 ml chicken broth
2 smoked sausages or chorizo
1 green and 1 yellow capsicum,   seeded and diced
1 red capsicum, seeded and cut into strips
400 g raw shrimps, peeled and deveined
salt and pepper
1 pinch of saffron or 1  tbsp. of paella mix if you have some at hand

  The spice mix is deep orange , almost red. Reminds me of paprika powder.

1.  Bring chicken broth to a boil. Stir in saffron thread ( if using). I used a tablespoon full of my magic and cheap paella mix spice and waaaa la! The broth turns golden yellow! Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

  2. Heat a tbsp. olive oil in  the paella pan. Brown chicken pieces. Toss until all sides are equally golden in colour. Take out from the pan and set aside.

3. Add the rest of olive oil in the same pan. Heat chopped smoked sausages. Add in diced onion. Sauté until  translucent.

 4. Add diced yellow and green bell pepper. Toss  well. Kitchen is smelling' rather guuud at this  moment.

 5. Add in risotto rice.  Stir well until each grain of rice is coated in delicious grease.

 6. Put browned chicken pieces back into the pan. Pour chicken stock . Let it simmer for 5 minutes.

 7. Arrange raw shrimps over rice and chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  8. Carefully place red paprika strips over it. Put pan into a preheated ( 200° C) oven, cover loosely with aluminium foil and bake for 30 more minutes or until rice is al dente. I'm Asian and I like my rice a bit mushy. I cooked mine for about 10 more minutes. (^_^)

                   Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges. Enjoy!

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