The Spanish are a nation of great explorers. Guys like Magellan and Columbus pushed back the maps further than just about anyone in history. There are many reasons; advancement of naval technology, improvements in navigational techniques and a culture that extolled and rewarded exploration. But I think there’s another reason that’s all too often missed: the Spanish just had better food.
Like really, if you were being fed dry biscuits and shoe leather like some explorers’ crews, you’d hardly be enthusiastic to push on around Cape Horn to see what’s across the next ocean… but when tempted by some tasty Spanish cuisine like this smoked chicken paella, who knows where you might end up.
Serves: 4 people
Energy: 2450 calories
Preparation time: about 45 minutes
Fuel: 150ml white spirit, or 75g camping gas*
*Based on an MSR Whisperlite burning white spirit at sea level.
- 250g manuka smoked chicken breast, coarsely chopped.
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1L vegetable stock
- 1.5 cups bomba (or short grain) rice
- 3 medium tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped*
*or substitute finely chopped sundried tomatoes if you’re saving weight.
- 3 small capsicums, seeded and chopped
- 6 mushrooms coarsely chopped
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon wedges, to garnish (optional).
Bring about half of the oil up to temperature, and then add the onion, frying for about five minutes. Add the rest of the oil and stir in the rice, followed by the sundried tomatoes. Stir in the vegetable stock one cup at a time while stirring continuously, and then, once you’ve poured in the last of the stock, add the capsicum, mushrooms and chicken. Once all the liquid has been absorbed, serve with cracked pepper and slices of lemon.