Chicken, chorizo and seafood paella, if you don’t mind? Firstly, let me kick off proceedings by announcing this is a sponsored post. That is, the good folks at Tefal have sent us another Actifry to test out and have compensated us generously for farting about in Adobe Premiere for an hour or two. Usual rules apply though: if we don’t like the product, or it doesn’t work, or it sets Paul’s training bra on fire, we’ll always tell you. Five years we’ve been doing this dance, you know, and I know all the steps by now. But first, a reminder!
When Tefal approached us to ask us to take part in their Spin Class activities, my first thought was that it meant exercise and frankly, I’d rather set my eyes on fire. Thankfully, once they’d explained and cleared the Zippo fluid from my eyeballs, we realised it was their new promotion to show the new Actifry Genius XL off, with all the fancy features you’d expect from a product called Genius. The Spin Class is a clever pun on the spinning of the actifry paddle, see. It’s all very clever. And the paella…well, I’ll come to that a bit later (and if you don’t have an Actifry, don’t fret, we’ve covered you too!), but first, nonsense.
I’m not saying I’m anti-exercise, I’m really not, but it’s altogether too much effort at the moment. We’re back at Elite, and bloody loving it, but good lord I genuinely thought I was going to die last Wednesday. It was forty five minutes of squats, thrusts, push-ups, jumping jacks and lying on my front with my bumcheeks in the air gasping for breath. And listen, I’ve been there many times before, but usually it’s pitch black – this wasn’t my scene. You’re reading the words of someone whose lips go blue buttoning his shirt up of a morning. Paul, who normally wouldn’t notice if I came into the kitchen with my arse where my face should be, turned to me with concern etched across his face and asked whether I needed an ambulance. He was wrong: I needed a hearse.
I blame my PE teachers at school. For the last two years of high school me and a gaggle of the other fat, camp and lazy kids used to refuse to take part and eventually, the teacher realised we weren’t going to take him seriously and so let us sit on the gym mats spectating. That got knocked on the head a few months in when we made a proper event of it and brought a picnic and a CD player. I wasn’t an especially camp teenager, but it’s hard to look butch when you’re bringing crisps out of a wicker basket whilst Vogue plays. I was good at three sports: basketball (because I was tall and excellent at dribbling – still am!), cross-country running (in that I could run 400m out of sight, and then share all the fags I’d nicked from my mother’s nuclear-war stockpile) and rugby. Rugby was great – being fairly fast yet superbly chubby meant I was hard to knock over and it became possibly the only sport I could have enjoyed playing more. However, I spent too long looking moonily at the other players that it never went anywhere. A couple of my friends play for the Newcastle Ravens and have invited me to take part, but I’m fairly confident that it would make things uncomfortable if I’m used as the table for the half-time oranges. Or worse. Ah well.
I asked Paul what exercise he enjoys and he replied ‘resting his ears from your nonsense’, which seems unnecessarily catty.
The Actifry, then. Tefal will kick off if we don’t tell you a little bit about what it can do. Firstly, it looks a little less like the Daft Punk era models of old, which is lovely. But it’s an absolute beast: 1.7kg capacity, which they tell us is enough for five portions of food, or a snack for Paul. You know how they work, yes? Add a tiny bit of oil, switch it on and the heat and the moving paddle turns and cooks your food with very little fat involved, bar the two chunkers operating it. Unlike the earlier models, this machine allows you to change the temperature (so low and slow for things like a chilli, nice and hot for crispy chips) and set the time it cooks for, which is handy for when, like me, you’re catching up on your stories and really want to see how this Chernobyl story plays out without burning your dinner. There’s also pre-set cooking options which takes the mystery out of pressing buttons AND there’s a handy app which showcases 300+ recipes, of which you may even see a couple of ours lumped in there. I have to confess, not usually a fan of tie-in apps, but this one is actually decent – not too much clucking about and presents the recipes in an attractive, step-by-step fashion. Might nick it.
I’ll say this though. We’ve been using our Actifry for years, mainly for chips because: obesity, but it’s genuinely our favourite kitchen gadget we own. It does exactly what it is supposed to do, with minimal fuss. It doesn’t leave your kitchen stinking of fat and it’s easy to keep clean, given all but the base can go in the dishwasher. It’s like the antithesis of Paul. There’s plenty of cheaper alternatives out there but – and mind this is rare because we’re usually all about not needing to spend money to eat well – this is worth spending your money on, even if you get a smaller or older model. Buy cheap, buy twice, and plus I’ve seen the clip of some of the models you can get in B&M and it looks like someone’s parked a coke-ravaged R2D2 on your worktop. Nobody wants that, now do they?
Let’s get to the recipe then. We’ve done a handy video recipe for you, though I must advise you put a towel down when you catch a glimpse of the pure sex involved. Let us know what you think!
It’s OK, we know he’s fit too. The Papa Bear to your Chubby Cubs. Imagine my distress and agony at having to clip and trim all that video footage of him working out on my 27″ screen. I had to push my chair back at one point. Now the text recipe – and look, if you don’t have an Actifry, don’t fret, we’ll give you a non-Actifry route to cook too! Because we’re canny.
chicken, chorizo and seafood paella
Yield 4 large servings
Paella in an Actifry? That's not chips! I know right - but this is tasty. If you're not a fan of seafood, leave it out, and you've got a tasty chicken and chorizo paella. Don't leave out the chorizo though - it's 3 syns per serving, but the oil from the chorizo makes everything that bit more tasty!
- 200g of paella rice
- 800ml of water
- 500g chicken breast (diced)
- 200g cooked prawns
- 200g shelled mussels
- 100g chorizo (12 syns), sliced
- two sweet onions, sliced finely
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 large red pepper
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 1/2 tsp each of curry powder, turmeric and smoked paprika
- pinch of salt and pepper
- boil the rice in the water and stock for about five minutes, then set it aside
- select 40 minutes and 220 degrees on the Actifry
- tip everything in, shut the lid, go sit and pick your feet for forty minutes whilst it does all the hard work
On the hob route
- in one pan, boil the rice in the water and stock for about five minutes, then set it aside
- whilst that's cooking, gently fry off the onion and pepper for about five minutes
- add the garlic and the spices and keep gently frying until everything is sweated down
- add the chicken and cook for a further couple of minutes
- tip the rice, stock and water into the onion pan, add everything else and pop the lid on, cooking and bubbling for forty minutes - make sure the chicken is cooked through, whatever you do!
- the new Tefal Genius XL is here! You can even spread your payments with Amazon now!
- your two favourite cubs have a cookbook coming out, you know - did we mention it? Pre-order now!
- don't let Frylight ruin your pans - use one of these oil sprayers instead!
- make quick work of the garlic with one of these Microplane grater!
- get yourself a mandolin slicer, but watch your friggin' fingers - and especially your frigging fingers - because boy do they make slicing easy
Courses lunch, dinner
Cuisine low syn, Spanish
Yum! Want more Actifry recipes, you saucy minx? Fine!
- southern fried chicken
- actifry lamb tagine
- greek potato hash
- all day breakfast poutine
- meatball masala
- chicken caesar wrap
- big mac tater tots
- sausage and potato salad
- garlic prawns on roast potato with pesto and rocket
- smoky sweet potato and bacon hash
- blackened chicken caesar salad
- chilli and cheesy fries pizza
- cheesy bacon burger fries
- sausage stroganott
- sticky sausages in onion gravy
- dippy cheese sloppy joe tater tots
- perfect roast potatoes
- breakfast burritos
- full english breakfast overnight oats