Pumpkin Stuffed Paella

I said I'd post the recipe for the pumpkin stuffed paella once I made it again, and having made it twice in one week, I was able to take photos this time; instead of just drooling and binding my time until it was cooked. 

This recipe is pretty simple and you could add in whatever veggies you want. And speaking of which I forgot to add in peas, just totally forgot about them but you should add them. Having grown up with an avid gardener, we always had fresh herbs growing in the garden and it behooves me to have to buy herbs since they are always so expensive. And when you grow them in the garden you have so much you barely know what to do with it all, but in this case I made an exception and paid my $1.20 for my bunch of parsley and it really help make the dish. Also go invest in some lemons, my lemon tree (i.e the one between the two units that had loads of lemons last year, and that I haven't nurtured at all this year) hasn't started bearing fruit yet so I also had to go fork out for some lemons, but definitely worth it.

The original recipe can be found here, they use a whole kent pumpkin and a whole lot less rice, but if I'm going to take time to make paella I'm going to be making enough to feed me for a couple of days (that's right just me).

What you'll need 
  • 3kg whole kent, jap pumpkin (if you want to use a whole one for a lot of people) or 1/2 jap pumpkin is plenty
  • 30g butter
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 x cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 x chorizo, sliced
  • 2 x chicken breast fillet; skin off, cut into 2cm cubes
    1 tsp x olive oil
    1 x onion, diced
  • 1 capsicum, diced
    3.5 cups (875mL) chicken stock; I used powder chicken stock which worked fine
  • large pinch of saffron; You can use tumeric for the colour or I used imitation saffron which was cheaper than tumeric
    3 cups paella or arborio rice
    2 x tomato, diced; I have 3 in the picture but after I diced up 2 it was plenty.
    ¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    ⅓ cup (40g) frozen peas

Keep reading after the jump for the step-by-step photo recipe.

What to do
  • There's a fair bit of prep work involved to dice all the veg and meat so if you pop the pumpkin in the oven first you'll be one step ahead.
  •  Melt 15g of butter in the microwave for 20 seconds. Add in the paprika and 1 clove of crushed garlic.
  • Wash the pumpkin, using your hands to remove the seeds and fleshy parts as best you can. Grab a spoon to scoop out strips of pumpkin flesh. If you are finding this difficult use a small sharp knife to score the pumpkin to make it easier to scoop out.You want to leave at least 1.5cm of pumpkin inside. 
  • Keep the pumpkin flesh in another bowl to add back to the rice later.
  • I was out shopping and was considering buying a silicone pastry brush thinking that I'd only ever use it to egg wash scones and pastry, I put it aside and didn't end up buying it, so when I got home I had to use a spoon to ladle in the butter mixture and swirl it around. If you have a brush use it, if not try some old school swirling. Tastes just as good, if not slightly better with the pools of garlicky paprika butter in the centre.
  •  Now go and dice all those vegetables. It's worth it. 
  • Heat a good non-stick pan to medium-high. Once nice and hot add in the chorizo. No oil needed as the fat in the chorizo will help cook it. 
  • Once the chorizo is browned on both sides, remove from pan and set aside. Add the diced chicken into the pan with the remaining chorizo fat, seal the meat on all sides and cook for 4 minutes until cooked through.
  • Whilst the chicken is cooking, prepare your chicken stock. You will need it to be hot. Add in a 1/4 tsp of imitation saffron until it becomes a bright orange. 
  • Remove the chicken from the heat.  
  • Add in remaining butter (15g), 1 clove garlic + 1 tsp oil.
  • Once the garlic has become translucent add in the diced onion and capsicum until the onion becomes translucent; usually a few minutes 
  • Add in the scooped out pumpkin flesh and cook for 2 minutes (it will continue to cook once the other ingredients are added in)  
  • Add in the 3 cups of aborio rice.
  • Stir through until it is coated in the juices from the cooked vegetables. 
  • Add in 1/2 a cup of hot stock and stir through until it is absorbed.
  • Continue to add in 1/2 a cup of stock, stirring and waiting until absorbed before adding another 1/2 a cup. 
  • After adding in a total of 2.5 cups of stock, add in the chorizo and chicken into the rice mixture. 
  • Continue to add in stock to a total of 3.5 cups of stock. 
  • Add in diced tomatoes and peas (imagine there are peas).
  • Add in chopped parsley. 
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until the rice is tender. 
  • The pumpkin should be done by this stage (~1 hour). Remove from oven and spoon in paella for presentation. 
  • Then divvy it all up and add extra paella to your plate. The have a little feast. 
mel@all.wrapped.up Web Developer

The indecisive crafter

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