Monday, 25 April 2011

Movida Paella

Disclaimer: This dish is not for the light hearted, there is A LOT of work but the result speaks for itself.

For those of you who haven't heard of Movida it is a Spanish restaurant in Melbourne that has become an institution. The food is impossible good and the restaurant is impossible to get into. Lucky they put out a cookbook....

I have slightly modified the recipe, not because I think I can make it better but simple because I couldn't find rabbit which the recipe calls for, actually the recipe calls for farmed white rabbit! So I used chicken instead and I reduced the oil content as much as possible.

We were invited to my future sister in laws house for Easter and this is what I made. This is the third time that i have made this Paella and every time I swear that I am never making it again due to the time that it takes but I have discovered that the trick is to leave enough time between each effort so that you can forget.

Traditionally paella is an outdoor dish. it is customary in Spain for men, rather than women to make paella. If possible I would recommend copping this in a paella pan on the bbq. I have done this on the stove top and the bbq and the bbq produces a superior result.

Sofrito (The Spanish work for 'softly fry' this is an essential step to this authentic paella and I recommend making in in advance. I made mine the day before and put it in the fridge).

50ml olive oil
1 white onion finely diced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
2 large red capsicums, seeded and finely diced
2 ripe tomatoes peeled, seeded and diced

1. Heat the oil in a large heave based saucepan over low heat. Add the onion, garlic and bay leaves with a large pinch of salt to draw out the moisture and intensify the flavour. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.

2. Add the capsicum and cook for a further 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until well softened. Add the tomato and continue to cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until rich and jam like, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn't stick to the base of the pan. Sofrito will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Serves 4-6 but this recipe is very easy to double
Ingredients for paella
1.5kg chicken lovely legs (drumsticks with no skin and the end cut off)
6 garlic cloves un peeled
3 rosemary sprigs
olive oil
200g mussels
12 raw king prawns
pinch of saffron threads
1 tbs thyme leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
400g Calasparra rice (aborio will do if you can't find Calasparra)
1 cup Sofrito (this is a whole recipe on its own and not a step that you can miss. This really makes the Paella. ).
125 ml dry white wine
1.25 fish stock (I made my own, I have never made fish stock before and made enough to last me for a year)
200g firm fleshed fish such as marlin, swordfish or tuna, cut into 2.5cm cubes
100g cleaned squid cut into strips
200g green peas (optional)
2 tbs chopped flat leaf parsley to garnish
2 lemons halved

1. Roast the chicken laying the pieces flat in a deep roasting tin and adding some olive oil with olive oil (a couple of good sloshes).  Roast very slowly for 2.5 hours on 140 degrees. Turn the legs half way through the process.

2. Scrub the mussels and pull out the hair beards. Rinse well and drain. Cover with a damp cloth and refrigerate until ready to use. Make a shallow cut with a very sharp small knife along the length of each prawn., Remove and discard the dark vein and shell, leaving the head and the tail.

3. Heat some olive oil in a paella pan or large deep, heavy based frying pan over medium heat. Add the saffron, thyme, rosemary and chopped garlic, and stir for 1 minute to release the flavour from the herbs and spices. Add the rice and season with two pinches of salt. Stir thoroughly to coat the rice and cook for a few minutes until the rice is slightly translucent around the edges. Add the sofrito and stir it through for a brief moment. Add the wine and stir through. Next add the hot fish stock and stir through. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to the boil.

4 From this point onwards, do not stir the paella, as the socorat (crust) needs to form on the bottom of the pan. I assure you this is the best bit! Move the pan around during cooking to allow to cook evenly.

5. Once the paella is boiling add the chicken, placing evenly around the pan. After 8 minutes add the fish pieces and squid on top of the rice. By now the rice would have expanded a little so reduce the heat to medium.

6. When the majority of the stock has been absorbed and small holes appear between the rice (about 10 min), place the prawns on top allow the escaping steam to gently cook them. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn the prawns to the other side. Add the peas then after 5 minutes , remove from the heat and cover with foil so that any remaining stock is absorbed and the rice separates a little.

Meanwhile, quickly cook the mussels by bringing 100ml of water to boil in a shallow saucepan. Add the mussels, cover and bring the water back to boil. Cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, discard any unopened mussels. Drain well and palace on top of paella. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

It is a marathon effort, but what do you expect it's Paella!

1 comment:

  1. Now I am totally lost. I have a shakespearian dilemma now: the paela on first night and char-grilled tuna on the second night or ... other way around? ... and still more than 4 months of these unreal reipes to come before my visit.