My mind has been wandering to paella a lot lately so I’m relieved I finally got to make it. Packed with so many delicious flavours that I love, from the spicy chorizo, and smokey paprika to mixed seafood and lemon, it has to be the ultimate one-pan wonder of a dish.
There are also no strict rules here. You can adapt this to your own taste adding whatever you have lying around. This rustic Spanish dish was designed to feed people en masse but it also somehow has an air of sophistication to it. I find it an utterly impressive dinner party dish.
Disclaimer: This recipe is my adaptation of Spanish paella and apologies to any Spanish people if my recipe is not authentic.
The one thing you do need to have, and something I did not up until now, is a nice large pan with even heating. Even heating at different temperatures is even more impressive, and I used my new Breville non-stick electric frying pan. This pan is designed to saute, fry and steam, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s simply a perfect paella pan.
An array of gorgeous Breville appliances have moved into my house and we are becoming firm friends. So far It’s been a bit like driving a Maserati after years in a vintage VW, but I’m embracing this exquisite technology with much joy and gratitude. I will be working with the South African marketing team of this wonderful Australian brand for the next year.
A few notes on my ingredients.…….
I adore prawns but they are not sustainable and are super expensive, so I opted for an all SASSI green list array of fruits de mer. The mussels were caught locally and were alive and fresh when I got them from Oceanjewels earlier, and I used farmed Cob and local calamari.
Free-range chicken thigh fillets made up the meat portion along with delicious Spanish chorizo that was the perfect level of spice for me.
I just love how everything gets cooked together for optimal flavour transference. I like to saute the chorizo first to release its oils then set it aside and brown the chicken. I added very little extra olive oil and used a combination of fish and chicken stock. Try and use the best possible stock you can find, it makes a big difference with paella.
A few other recipes you mike like:
- 2-3 T olive oil
- 2 pinch’s saffron soaked in two tablespoons of hot water
- 100 g chorizo finely sliced
- 280 g – 300g boneless skinless chicken thigh filets (8 thigh fillets)
- 350 – 400g white fish fillets cut into large chunks
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 red pepper cored and finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- ½ glass of dry white wine
- 1 x 400g tin chopped peeled tomatoes
- 1 ½ t-smoked paprika
- ½ dried chilli flakes optional
- 500 g mussels in shell
- 200 g calamari cut into rings
- 500 g Arborio rice
- 1 – 1.2litres chicken / fish stock
- Handful parsley finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon wedges to serve
- Heat the stock in a separate pot and keep this warm on the stove
- Turn the Breville electric frying pan on 8 (medium high heat) and fry the chorizo sausage until the oils start to release, about 4 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Cut the filleted chicken thighs into large chunks (roughly quarters) and fry in the chorizo oil until they just start browning on the outside. Do not cook through. Remove and set aside.
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil if necessary and fry the fish fillet pieces very quickly to seal. Remove and set aside.
- Add another 1 - 2 tablespoons of olive oil and fry the onion and red pepper until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed garlic, tomatoes, saffron in water and wine, allowing this to reduce and thicken slightly.
- Add the Arborio rice and stir to coat. Cover with about 800ml of the stock, spread it out evenly and then let this simmer gently with the lid on at temperature mark 4 – 6 (alternating) for 10 - 12 minutes. Try not to stir too much. If it looks like its drying out, add a little more stock.
- Remove the lid, ensure there is still some liquid, and add the calamari, fish, chicken and mussels to the paella, placing this evenly around. Push the mussels into the sauce. Close the lid and simmer gently for 5 – 7 minutes on between 4 and 6.
- Turn the electric frying pan off. Scatter over freshly chopped parsley and lemon wedges. Keep the lid on to stay warm.
* This post has been sponsored by Breville South Africa.