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WEEKEND FOOD RECIPE: Terence Conran’s Perfect Paella

Make your roast dinner the Spanish way this weekend with a sumptuous, homely Paella. Punchy chorizo, gorgeous saffron threads and sweet peppers give Terence Conran’s dish the edge over other paella dishes – it’s the perfect lazy Sunday afternoon recipe.

Serves 4-6.

You will need:

1 small chicken, weighing about 900g/2lb (we recommend free range!)

450g/1lb mussels

225g/8oz small squid, cleaned

2 pinches saffron threads

1.2 litres/2 pints chicken stock

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 red pepper, skinned, seeded and cut into strips

225g/80z tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped

340g/120z Italian risotto rice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 bay leaf

115g/40z peas, preferably freshly shelled

12 cooked prawns in shell

A handful of black olives

1 lemon, sliced

To begin, joint the chicken. Cut into 4cm pieces, keeping the drumsticks whole. Scrub and debeard the mussels. Put them into a heavy saucepan with 150ml boiling water and shake over a brisk heat until all the shells have opened. Drain, reserving the liquid and put to one side.

Cut the squid body into rings and the flaps and tentacles into pieces. Soak the saffron in the stock. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based paella pan or wide, deep frying pan and saute the pieces of chicken over a brisk heat until browned. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Add the tomatoes, squid, chorizo and the saffron-infused chicken stock. Bring the liquid to the boil. Add the rice, and season with salt and pepper. Spread everything out evenly.

When the liquid returns to the boil, add the bay leaf. Turn down the heat and cover the pan (if the base of the pan is thin use a heat diffuser). Simmer very gently for 20 minutes, or until the rice starts becoming swollen and tender.

Stir in the peas. Place the prawns and mussels on top of the rice and the black olives all around the edge. Add the mussel cooking liquid. Cover again and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the rice is completely tender (the grains will be separate).

Serve with a slice of lemon on each plate.

Simply gorgeous! We tried this out last week and friends of FashionBite were not disappointed. Be sure to send us a picture of your finished dishes, we’d love to see them!

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