Gluggy Paella

Speaking of gluggy paella - this happened. On a plane. Not to me. But to my neighbouring passenger. And I didn't stop her. I didn't warn her. I let her order Chicken Paella over Vegetable Penne for my own morbid curiosity. And I photographed it. And she ate her bread roll.

There are so many types of wrong with this. It astounds me that there is an actual chef behind all of this. Paella, by its basic nature of being a loose, pearl-esque type of rice dish, can't possibly maintain its structural integrity post 23 minutes of being cooked, then reheated and thrown around an airplane.

Don't even get me started on the fact that it had chorizo in it.

Don't stir the rice!

Quite possibly, the number one mistake of novice paella makers is stirring the rice!

Paella is not a risotto. So don't stir it. The rice should be loose and pearl-like in texture. Not gluggy and creamy.

Which is why in fact, I hate serving paella anytime after about 23 minutes from completion - it just starts getting gluggy. Not to say it isn't still amazingly tasty. But i'm fussy.

For the Spanish rice dice to be cooked evenly without stirring requires a bit of chemistry and physics. The right amount of boiling stock, the right amount of heat, the right pan, and the right level (flat!).

As for leftover paella, I like to pan fry it rather than microwave it. I rarely microwave anything as it is, but I find frying it loosens it up a bit. And never, ever, freeze paella Spanish tapas. That is all.

 

 

 

 

Chorizo - it's delicious but it shouldn't be in paella

Chorizo thinks he runs the paella show

Chorizo thinks he runs the paella show

Don't get me wrong...I've had chorizo in paella, and it's delicious. The paella tastes more like ... well...chorizo. Not chicken, not seafood, chorizo! Not only is chorizo paella not even a dish in Spain, but if i'm going to have anything chorizo-flavoured, it's chorizo. (how many times can I say...Chorizo!?)

As for the paella, I know a good paella by the taste of the rice itself, infused with spices, chicken, meats or seafood stock used.  Sometimes less is much more.

So basically, using chorizo is a cheat's method (no judgement) of flavouring up a paella in lieu of a decent stock.

IF you are spending quality ingredients and time in developing an amazing stock - why add chorizo to simply overpower your delectable creation?

IF you aren't creating an amazing stock - chorizo away. It will be eaten.

My recommendation though is to have your chorizo solo, as a Spanish tapas, with crusty bread and lemon. Then, enjoy your paella and enjoy the subtlety of its various flavours.