Renovation Recipes: Pimp My Paella With Lemon Roast Chicken Supreme

M&S GastroPub Paella Review

A hobless house is pretty much a paella free zone, needing as you do the requisite large shallow pan and low simmering heat to create aromatic rice crispy at the edges, fat and juicy in the middle and flavoured with saffron, seafood, chorizo and chicken. I miss not being able to make my own from scratch and as we’re now busy on the second floor dormer working down the house, it’ll be a while before that hob arrives!

To itch a craving I bought an M&S “Gastropub Prawn & Chargrilled Chicken Paella”. Mmmmm, looked good on the picture, even had paprika and chorizo listed as flavours. A ‘Meal For Two’ they claimed…

M&S Paella 3

Except it wasn’t really enough for two. Not two people with normal appetites anyway, not that Mr M’s appetite is normal mind. Eats like a horse. In my house 11 prawns and a few scraps of chicken is not a meal for two. Luckily we’d just been to Frosts, an excellent butchers in nearby Chorlton so I could easily work some Moregeous magic.

M&S Paella 1

Here’s how:


  • One pack M&S Paella, or A.N.Other supermarket pack
  • 2 chicken supremes. i.e. chicken breasts with the skin on and the little wing bone still attached
  • 1 lemon
  • 100g of sweet garden peas
  • I red pepper, cut in equal halves and cleaned of seeds etc.
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley

Try and get the best chicken you can. Supermarkets rarely have chicken supremes and they’re usually much tastier than boneless supermarket pre-packaged breasts. There’s something wonderful about being able to suck the juicy bone meat once all the breast meat has been eaten, a great way to end a meal!

Lift the chicken skin and pop under a slice of lemon and some chopped fresh parsley. Cover the breast meat back with the skin and liberally season with black pepper & sea salt. Roast on a small oven tray for 30mins at 180* (fan oven).

Open the paella. The pack says prick the plastic film. Ignore it. Remove the film and give it all a good stir as all the tomato sauce will have sunk to the bottom leaving the rice dry.

Spoon the cold paella into an oven proof dish. Add the peas and parsley. Pop into the oven after the chicken has been in for 15 mins.

At the same time, stick the two pepper halves (open sides up) next to the chicken. 15 mins in a hot oven is enough to wilt the pepper, giving it a sweet taste and charring the edges slightly.

Take out the chicken after 30mins and allow to rest for 5 mins.

When the chicken is rested, take out the paella and peppers. Fill each pepper half with some paella rice. Give it all a good squeeze with fresh lemon to your own preference on taste and serve as I have in the top image.

There you go – Pimped up paella for a hearty site lunch.

If you want to go mid-reno mad with this meal, add chopped chorizo and maybe some mussels to the cold paella before it goes in the oven, for a more authentic taste. However, that might be going a bit far for what’s supposed to be a speedy pimp up. More appealing it serving it with a great Rioja, but as it’s Monday lunch time with him now upstairs to cut insulation and me facing a mountain of paperwork, maybe not here 😉

I wouldn’t need to pimp if I could make my own paella however, so now I just need to persuade him to either build me a giant outside pan like Jamie’s below, or get on with our Asado fireplace!

A pan of paella cooks in the Camino fireplace on Monday, Aug. 20, 2012 in Oakland, Calif. Moore's paella dish consists of rabbit, shellbeans, romano beans, tomato, chilies, rice, crepinette and is cooked in the restaurant fireplace for about twenty minutes. (Aric Crabb/Staff)

NB For new readers: I live in a kitchenless, hot water-less, hobless house mid-selfbuild & renovations, hence these simple / effective / hearty recipes and food advice for others in the same boat. This isn’t an expert blog for expert foodies with all the gadgets either, so don’t get all prissy if I use cheating additions and never boil / pan fry anything… because I can’t! x

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