Y Viva Paella

Spain won. Inevitably. They were the best team and completely marmalised poor old Italy in the final. Four-nil. Even more embarrassing than when the Azzurri lost the 1970 World Cup Final to Pele’s Brazil – but at least they managed a goal then.

In anticipation of this inevitable outcome, I cook paella for the very first time.

Its a bit of a red-letter day in more than the footballing sense, because Number #2 Daughter (below) is home for the weekend (hurrah!). Mum’s coming over too, she likes to see the grandchildren. And eat my food. Or so she says.

She only comes home to sleep and eat
She only comes home to sleep and eat

Sal isn’t a fan of our aquatic friends, so I look for a recipe without prawns. It seems there are some who say this is in fact a more authentic version of the classic Spanish dish, and who am I to argue?

Hopefully this will give it a bit of the flavour sadly lacking in the other paellas I have sampled – in London and in Germany. Both times it filled a gap, but no more.

This looks promising though.

The Spanish First Eleven


The more attentive will notice two things about this photograph.

First, it represents Spain lining up in their classic 4-6-0 formation. The garlic represents Cesc Fabregas.

Second, there are in fact twelve ingredients if you include the mango which represents Fernando Torres on the subs bench.

I was going to include an excellent line about how the mango had more chance of getting in my paella than Torres had of getting on the pitch in the final, but then he went and spoilt it by not only coming on, but scoring a goal.

Typical. Too late to affect the photograph, so the mango stays in.

Chop the chorizo into good chunky chunks, and heat in a saucepan. There’s plenty of oil comes out, so you don’t really need to add any.

Remove the chorizo and cook the chicken in the lovely red chorizo juices, then remove the chicken.

Sweat the onions in a bit of oil, add garlic and paprika, put in the uncooked rice and simmer in chicken stock for around 10 minutes.

Then put the chicken back in with chopped red peppers, frozen peas and tinned tomatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes, stir in the chorizo and serve.

Sal persuaded me not to put the mango in, which on reflection was the best policy.

God that looks nice!


Here it is, simmering away ready to be served.

Its simple, like tika-taka football. Its delicious, like Iniesta’s passing. And its comforting, like the knowledge that Euro 2012 has been won by probably the best football team the world has ever seen.

Mum and Lucy loved it. Hopefully they will both be back.

Next up, Sweden. Yes, I know Euro 2012 has finished but I still have quite a few countries to get through, and a promise is a promise, if not to you then to my stomach.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge