To teenagers, parents are (by and large) royally uncool. It’s a fate most parents have come to accept, a reality around the world that’s as inevitable as headaches, a rainy English summer, and the likelihood of your toast falling to the floor buttered side down.
If you’re finding it increasingly tricky to lure your teens from their rooms, nevermind join you for a meal once in a while, perhaps it’s time to shake things up in the kitchen and add a bit of variety to the table.
When scanning the world for a hint of coolness to borrow from, Spain is a high contender. Spain - the home of Barcelona, Nadal and late night dancing - has rung up a fair number of hip credentials over the years. So why not bring a little Spanish flair and flavour to your table with this easy and delicious Spanish dinner menu.
Paella more powerful than the Pied Piper
A Jamie Oliver favourite, this Spanish Paella recipe is sure to lure your kids into the kitchen with the smell of garlic and saffron. Loaded with chicken, chorizo, mussels and prawns, this one-pot dish is a perfect main for a Spanish dinner menu that will easily serve a hungry family of six. Although it may look like it requires all-day preparation, you can have the colourful flavour fest ready in less than an hour and a half.
What you’ll need
- 6 boneless higher-welfare chicken breasts or thighs, skin on, each quartered
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- plain flour, for dusting
- olive oil
- 100g iberico chorizo, sliced
- 6 slices higher-welfare pancetta or streaky bacon
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 litres organic chicken stock, hot
- 2 large pinches saffron
- 1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika
- 500g paella rice
- 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped, stalks chopped
- 2 handfuls fresh or frozen peas
- 10 king prawns, from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger
- 500g mussels, from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger, scrubbed, optional
- 2 small squid, from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger, halved and scored, optional
Jamie Oliver’s Method
Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Season the chicken pieces and dust with flour. Heat a little olive oil in a large deep pan and fry the chicken until golden brown on both sides. Place the pieces on a baking tray and into the oven for 30 minutes.
Put the pan back on the heat. Add the sliced chorizo and pancetta or bacon and fry until browned and crispy. Then add the onion and garlic and cook until soft. Meanwhile infuse half the hot chicken stock with the saffron. Add the smoked paprika, rice and infused stock and leave to cook on a medium heat, stirring from time to time.
After 20 minutes the rice should be nearly cooked. At this point, pour in the rest of the stock along with the peas, prawns, and the mussels and squid if you are using them. Place a lid on the pan and cook for 10 minutes more.
Finally, add the cooked chicken and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley and a wedge of lemon.
A perfectly sweet finish to your Spanish dinner menu
Try your hand at this delectable Crema Catalana recipe. This burnt Spanish cream custard is a trick to get your kids lingering around the table for longer than usual.
Looking to get your kids even more involved in quality family time? Why not suggest a trip to Spain to taste an authentic Spanish dinner menu? Calpe is an ideal setting for families to explore together. Head to the harbour and watch the spectacle of fish being auctioned to sizzle up for that evening’s traditional Paella, swim in the Med, and lay back and admire the sleek blue-flag beaches Calpe has to offer. For further details about quality accommodation and luxury family-friendly hotels in Costa Blanca, contact AR-Hotels. Boasting an impressive array of luxury hotels in Costa Blanca, AR-hotels are leaders in the local hospitality industry.