This summer was the first time in years in which I've travelled to another country. I was fortunate enough to spend a week in coastal Malaga, Spain with my boyfriend in June. Here I tried paella for the first time and fell in love with it. I'm not the world's greatest seafood fan, so what I ate wasn't *true* paella as it was chicken and chorizo based, but hey, it was paella in Spain so I'm counting it. During a bout of why-does-English-weather-suck in September I caved and bought a chicken paella meal soup from Sainsburys (try it, trust me you won't regret it). Living on a student budget and wanting to be as healthy as possible however, led me to create my own recipe - here it is!
Ingredients (makes 2 servings):
1 small chicken breast
2 cloves garlic
1 can chopped tomatoes
60g brown rice
1 tsp lemon juice
Ground black pepper
Dried chopped chili
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
2.) Boil some water for the rice. Start cooking the rice. Remember to check the pack for how long to cook it, but brown rice should take about 25 minutes to cook. I actually prefer brown rice to white rice, which is a win when you're trying to eat clean, but the recipe works equally well with white (although you'll have to adjust cooking times).
2.) Pour a little bit of olive oil over the chicken. Season with ground black pepper, salt and basil. The olive oil helps to keep it from drying our whilst cooking so that you get a lovely juicy chicken.
3.) Once the chicken is in the oven (it should take about 20 minutes to cook) you can start working on the sauce. Finely chop or crush the garlic. Heat a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil in a pan and cook the garlic for one minute.
4.) Add the chooped tomatoes. Now comes the seasoning. Add a pinch of the dried chopped chili, basil, thyme and parsley. Season with ground black pepper to your liking. Now it's time for the key ingredient: paprika. I'm not the greatest fan of spicy food, so if you are it may be wise to adjust the spice measurements to your liking. I usually end up putting between 1/2 and 1 teaspoon of paprika in. The best idea is to measure along the way to make sure you adjust it to your liking.
5.) Leave the sauce to simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes.
6.) Whilst it's cooking, boil some water for the peas. Cook for roughly five minutes. Add the peas to the sauce.
7.) By now the chicken should be cooked. Slice it up into thin strips and add to the sauce.
8.) Finally add the rice and serve. You can reheat the second serving for another day.
Love and Light,
All photos are property of Sophie Hartley