Easy Paella


Easy Paella
Servings: 8


6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4-5 boneless chicken thighs, cut into smallish pieces
2 large onions, diced
8 cloves garlic, crushed
3 ripe tomatoes, grated to a mush
3 1/2 cups Calasparra rice (1/2 cup per person)
salt & freshly ground black pepper
3 chorizo sausages, sliced
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 1 tablespoon warm water
2 litres vegetable or chicken stock
12 cockles, mussels, clams or pipi in their shells
12 prawns, in their shells
flat leaf parsley to garnish
lemon wedges to garnish

Recipe by: Nici Wickes
Publication: World Kitchen (Jan 2009)
Recipe ID: 100009


Paella is an ideal dish to cook when feeding a large number of people. Each region in Spain has its own variation depending on what ingredients are nearby. For me, the must-haves for paella are chicken, spicy chorizo, garlic, saffron, tomoato and the right kind of rice. The rest is optional! Unlike risotto, paella is cooked without stirring so that the rice grains remain separate - stirring creates a creamy texture as starch is released from the rice.


Use a paella pan if you have one, If not, use your largest frying pan or a saucepan that is not too deep.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in the pan. Add the chicken and cook for a few minutes until it begins to turn golden. Remove chicken and set aside. Add the remaining olive oil, onions, garlic and tomatoes to the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat in the mixture. Season well with salt and pepper and saute for 10-15 minutes.

Add the sliced chorizo and browned chicken to the pan. Add the saffron in its water. Add enough of the stock so that it just covers the rice.

Stir to blend and don't stir again unless absolutely necessary. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer gently for about 20 minutes until the rice is cooked and nearly all of the stock absorbed. If it is looking too dry and the rice is still not cooked through, sneak in some more hot stock or boiling water by pouring it around the sides of the pan.

About 5 minutes from the end of the cooking time, add the shellfish and prawns in their shells, Taste paella at this stage and consider whether you need to add more salt or pepper. Continue to cook until the shells open and the prawns are cooked. Discard any shellfish that haven't opened. Gently stir the ingredients around a little.

Scatter with lots of parsley sprigs and garnish with lemon wedges. Bring the paella pan to the table and serve directly from the pan.



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