When I pulled myself out of bed this morning I was met with the lingering smell of smoky goodness from our adventures the previous evening (just to clarify they were cooking adventures) and they memories came flooding back. No, that’s a lie. The memories sporadically trickled in like David Hasslehoffs fan mail.
A fuck off big paella pan screams out that you are not messing around in the kitchen tonight. Even if you are pan-frying two small children, you’re still not messing around. And this evening our paella pan screamed out to me.
So for the last day of work in my current employment, I decided what better way to say “fuck you life is going to be shit without me”… or maybe “thanks for having me, it’s been swell”, then to bring out my paella pan and cook a couple of small children (not local of course) if front of their very eyes. Now I don’t know if they came to say good bye, wish me well or just celebrate the fact I was getting out of their lives, but the thing is they came so I thought I should maybe put something a little more aesthetically pleasing on the table.
Big assed risotto with chicken, chorizo, prawns, fennel and pickled chilli for a crowd
5 chicken marylands, free range fool, cut into three pieces. Roast that shit!
4 chorizo sausage, sliced
1kg king prawns
2 brown onions, diced
2 fennel bulbs, sliced
5 cloves garlic, bashed in a back alley brawl
1 quarter preserved lemon, flesh and pith removed, bruniose
1 lemon myrtle leaf, chiffonade
1kg risotto rice (aborio etc)
4lt hot stock – chicken or vegetable is good
5 guindillas (Spanish pickled chillis)
- First you get one of your guests, say Soraya, to light the chiminea on the verandah
- Once the smoke has died down get the paella pan hot, splash a little oil in the pan to heat up, then tell Zac the kitchen hand that he is going to start cooking dinner now
- Get your self a beer and start instructing Zac on his culinary adventure
- Sauté the onions, fennel, garlic and chorizo until fragrant and the chorizo is starting to free itself of its lovely red oil
- Add chicken, preserved lemon, lemon myrtle and rice
- Cook out for a couple of minutes
- Add stock and cook for 10-ish minutes, shaking the pan every couple of minutes, until rice is almost done
- Add prawns and, if the risotto has taken all the liquid, add a little more stock (hot water will do because you’ve probably already used all of your stock) and cover with alfoil
- Cook for another 5 minutes until this prawns are done
- Garnish with guindillas, a squeeze of lemon and a splash of olive oil
- Serve straight from the pan at the table, just so everyone remembers how OG you are
- Get another beer and sit back and bask in your glory