The Experiment. Chicken and chorizo paella and Cava Sangria

Food & drink to celebrate the end of exams and the beginning of summer

Spanish food is celebration food. Its bright colours and spicy flavours serve to make a pretty dish and are perfect for outdoor eating. I associate it with summer festivities, and having friends over to share a meal out of one big pan of Paella, or lots of little dishes of Tapas. It’s either one dish cooking or finger food eating, and that’s what makes it fun.
For this last experiment of the term, I brought over my friend, India Boddy, to show us how to make the traditional and well-known rice dish Paella. She grew up in Spain and has tailored a Jamie Oliver recipe to her experiences of eating authentic Paella. This is a rice dish that is yellowed with saffron and cooked with various types of meat. It is a great dish to eat in celebration of the end of exams and the beginning of summer.

The method:

1. Pick and chop the parsley leaves and roughly chop the stalks.
2. Slice up the chorizo sausage.
3. Peel, halve and roughly chop up the onion and garlic.
4. Pour 1.5l of boiling water into a jug, drop in the stock cube and stir until dissolved.
5. Place a large casserole-type pan on a medium to high heat and drizzle in some olive oil.
6. Add the parsley, chicken and chorizo to the pan and stir together.
6. Cook until the chicken turns golden.
7. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook for 5-10 minutes.
8. Add the saffron and rice to the pan, giving it a good stir.
9. Pour in the hot stock and bring to the boil, stirring and scraping off the bottom of the pan as you go.
10. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook the rice.
11. When the rice is nearly done, stir in the prawns and peas and squeeze in the juice of a lemon.
12. Cook until it tastes “done”, adding in extra water / salt and pepper / paprika if it feels necessary.
Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.

400g mixed seafood/ frozen raw prawns 
A small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
6 chicken thighs
100g chorizo sausage
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 chicken stock cube
Olive oil
400g arborio rice
Sea salt + black pepper
Frozen peas

The Experiment. Cava Sangria

Sang, or ‘blood’ in latin describes the red wine based cocktail of Spain. India suggested this lighter and just as authentic alternative. Brandy is mixed with Cava, a sparkling wine that is as good as champagne for celebrations. Just be careful when you open it.

Chilled sparkling mineral water
Chilled brandy
Caster sugar
Bottle of well chilled Cava
Assorted berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, rinsed and drained, for serving

1. Stir the sparkling water, brandy, and sugar together in a punch bowl.
2. When the sugar is dissolved, uncork the sparkling wine and pour it gently into the bowl.
3. Float about half the berries in the sangria and use the rest to decorate individual glasses.