October 12, 2011

Chicken and chorizo paella cooking class

Cooking class has been on my mind for a fun date night out, so when I stumbled across a coupon for a class, I decided to grab it and take Kev out. (This also happened to be part of my 30 in 30, except the classes filled up quickly and only recently were we able to attend.)

We headed out to Social Cooking to prepare our Chicken and Chorizio Paella (recipe below!). I loved the small kitchen - it was cosy, well organised, and reminded me of home ec class. Did you have home ec in high school? I signed up for an elective course on 'independent living' and they taught us how to stock a fridge and cook a meal... and that's all I really remember. Good to know I can survive on my cooking skills if needed!

I love the bright stripe wall, such a creative way to do an accent wall!

I loved the 900 grapes wine they paired with the meal. Pinot Gris has quickly became a favourite of mine ever since our Air New Zealand flight when we moved here. There's heaps of it here, and I find this wine to be a very balanced, lightly sweet, yet refreshing wine.

I loved that Kev took on the cooking part and took it very, very seriously! (And I love having him back again! I know I've been blogging lots about our outings, it's because he recently went back to a normal 50 hour week work. Long gone are the months of working 7 days a week over 80 hours a week, we finally can enjoy our downtime and explore NZ, hope you don't mind his appearance in the posts lately!)

Cooking up the last bits so we can finally dig in!

And voila!

Chicken and Chorizo Paella... but you can make it anyway you like, open to interpretation, that's what's great about cooking this dish!

Ingredients (in order of cooking):
  • Olive oil (lots of it)
  • Meat (we used 2 chicken breasts, 1 chorizio sausage, and 1 strip of bacon - but you could do fish, beef or veggie! I mean vege - that's the kiwi way!)
  • 1 cup of Veges (we used mushroom, peas, onions)
  • Garlic (crushed)
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 cup of Wine (we used what we were drinking, Pinot Gris!)
  • 2 cups stock (we did chicken, but go with what you like!)
  • Spices - to taste (we used bay leaf, oregano, fresh parsley - but what you like would taste best!)

  1. Sautee meat in oil until almost cooked (it will steam and cook more thoroughly later), remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Sautee veges in same pan (add garlic halfway through) in more oil until soft, remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Turn pan down to medium heat, add arborio rice and coat it in the oil left in pan.
  4. Once translucent, add in a cup of wine (or more to your liking!).
  5. Once wine is almost absorbed, add in stock and turn up the heat, bring to a boil.
  6. Add in all ingredients (except peas, frozen veges should be added near the end) including spices.
  7. Carefully bury the ingredients in the rice, avoid stirring too much (stirring is actually the difference between making a paella and making risotto. Risotto needs lots of stirring, paella does not.) - only stir lightly and to keep the rice from burning on bottom of pan, then cover and turn down to medium/low heat.
  8. As the stock absorbs, stir sparingly. Once stock is mostly absorbed. try the rice, it should be soft and al dente like pasta but it shouldn't be tough to bite through - you may need to add more stock/water if it's too firm.
  9. If rice is cooked, add frozen veges, cover and remove from heat for two minutes, then serve.

Total cooking time took us 40 mins and made 3-4 portions

I also made a seafood paella this weekend. For meat it was shrimp and butter fish, veges were capsicum (pepper) and peas, and spices were bay leaf, oregano, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper, red pepper. Very versatile dish, love it.

Pour some wine and enjoy!


  1. That looks so good! What a fun idea to take a cooking class together - my husband and I did this with some friends at the end of June, and it was a great time :)

  2. Oh, how fun!!! I love finding vouchers for stuff like that, and it's a great date night :-) Looks delicious, too!

  3. You've been doing such fun things. I can't wait to try this :)


So glad you wandered by!