Week 67. Equatorial Guinea. Hot Chicken Paella.

Blogging is so glamorous. It’s currently 6:30am and I’m sitting in the dark. I’ve had 5 hours sleep and my throat burns as for those 5 hours I must have snored. I’ve just had to whisper-shout at my three year old for making a tower out of a load of bottles and then knocking them over (sounded like a bomb). I’ve also left my glasses upstairs but don’t want to get them as I’ll likely wake my wife and three month old up and as a result I’m getting a little bit more of a headache each line I write.  Glam.

In recent weeks I have…..hold on.

FFS. I just had to pause writing this as my son just demanded that the cereal bowl I had dumped on his little table be taken off and then only put back when I had put down a place mat. This has to be a joke. He is bloody three…what’s he going to be like when he is 6? Demanding I put sparkling water next to his bed and ensuring his room always smells of lavender? Jesus.

Three year olds. Wow. Intelligent enough to con you, stupid enough to get lost in supermarkets. We are currently in the question stage. Supposedly at the age of three a child asks 200 questions a day. I think our one asking about 15,000. “Why Joe?” he asks non stop. He has decided it’s funny to use my real name not Daddy. I hate it, so he uses it more. What he doesn’t know is that every time he uses it I eat one of his sweets from the cupboard. In your face little boy.

Anyway – back to my blog. I’ve had a cup of tea now and whilst my throat is still screwed, I do feel semi alive.

This blog has been going for two years now. I’m 67 dishes in, but there are some  powerhouses of world cuisine I haven’t reached yet. I’ve not cooked China or Japan or Italy or Spain. I’ve not had to choose what to cook from the vast USA, nor have I had to decide what to cook from my wife’s home country of New Zealand or my home country (England). There is a lot more to do but for now its a case of doing the legwork and there are 47 countries in Africa which need cooking at some point.

This week it was Equatorial Guinea which is a tiny country on the West of Africa and unsurprisingly on the Equator! What you probably didn’t know about it, is that it is the richest per capita in the whole of Africa (although extremely unbalanced in its distribution). With many Spanish influences I decided that their version of Paella was the dish for me. My loose knowledge of Paella is that whilst these days it’s known as a seafood dish, it was originally made with rabbit and was a Spanish peasant dish. In Equatorial Guinea the recipes I found were also not seafood but used Chicken or Guinea Fowl. I chose chicken.

The main difference I could tell between the dish I cooked and its Spanish cousin is that my Paella had chilli in it and more beans – the rest was largely the same. It’s delicious and easy to make.

Ingredients (for 4).

  • 2 cups Paella rice
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 chopped tomatoes (skin off)
  • Pinch Saffron
  • Pinch Oregano
  • Fresh Chilli (you choose how much)
  • Chicken Stock (2-3 pints)
  • White Wine – 1 Cup
  • 4 Chicken Breasts

 

Chop the onion and garlic and fry gently in some oil.

After they begin to brown add the herbs and a large pinch of salt and stir for 30 seconds before adding the tomato and chilli.

Let that all sweat for a few minutes before adding the rice and stirring it all in.

Let this all simmer gently for a couple of minutes. The rice will quickly absorb the juice in the pan so then add the chicken stock.

This should then all simmer for 20-30 minutes. It is done when there is no liquid left and the rice is plump. Whilst the rice simmers grill or BBQ the chicken breasts.

 

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