The Iberian Peninsula has been a melting pot for many cultures over the years, from the north African Carthaginian’s to the Arabic moors and laterally influences from northern Europe. This rich culinary history has created enclaves of distinctive flavour using the rich harvest from both the land and sea. From the northern grassy hills of Galicia with its distinctive meats both fresh and air dried, to the sun parched hills of Andalucía providing olives in abundance, travel with us on a culinary journey to this much underrated yet diverse and exciting cuisine.

Featured Recipe: Paella

1 tbsp olive oil
2 chicken breasts fillets, cut into chunks
2 small onions , finely sliced
1 fat garlic clove, crushed
140g cooking chorizo, sliced
1 tsp turmeric
pinch of saffron
1 tsp paprika
300g paella rice
850ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
200g frozen peas
1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve
½ small pack parsley, finely chopped, to serve

Heat the oil in a deep frying pan over a high heat. Add the chicken and brown all over – don’t cook completely. Once browned, transfer to a plate. Reduce the heat to low, add the onions and cook slowly until softened, about 10 mins.

Add the garlic, stir for 1 min, then toss in the chorizo and fry until it releases its oils. Stir in the spices, then tip in the rice. Stir to coat the rice in the oils and spices for about 2 mins, then pour in the hot stock. Bring to the boil, return the chicken to the pan and simmer for about 20 mins, stirring occasionally.

Add the peas to the pan and simmer for a further 5 mins until the rice is cooked and the chicken is tender. Season well and serve with the lemon wedges and chopped parsley.