Javier is a Basque born, trained chef and hospitality professional, owner of Basco Fine Foods, a Spanish food and drink importer based in Yorkshire. He regularly runs client food and drink events around the country and he is a course tutor at Hartingtons of Bakewell cookery school. Javier’s passion lies on bringing quality Spanish ingredients and recipes to as many people as possible.
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This is my basic chicken and chorizo paella recipe. Using the two most popular ingredients commonly seen in paella recipes out there, chicken and chorizo sausage. There are 3 basic ingredients that you need to have in your cupboard in order to make authentic Spanish paella; paella rice, smoked paprika and Spanish saffron. The rice should be short grain and never long grain. These days you can easily find paella rice in most deli shops and stores out there but keep an eye for either rice from the bomba, bahía or senia varieties, these are the best known. The smoked paprika or Spanish ‘pimentón de la vera’ is an intense spice made from roasted and dried red peppers mainly from the region of Extremadura, again widely available in deli shops. You can either use sweet or spicy pimentón depending on how much heat you want to give the dish, I prefer to use sweet paprika. The saffron is the key ingredient that provides the aroma and colour to the dish. Use Spanish saffron from La Mancha region, it is considered to be the best in the world. The method of cooking this paella is very simple as I don’t use an oven like many restaurants do, which sometimes might be tricky to get the rice cooked properly. You can either cook it on a gas burner or electric induction cooker at home. Ideally, you will use a stainless steel paella pan that you can pick up for around £20 from any local cook shop or online shop. If you don’t have one, a wide casserole dish can do the trick.