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10 mins
Paella Recipe


Rating 4-5 out of 5 - Most cooks definitely will make this recipe again

Recipe by  

Paella is the celebrated Spanish dish that actually varies in Spain, region to region. For that reason, the ingredients can be changed a little to suit your own personal tastes. This particular version was invented one summer evening at the home of my friends, Pam and Wally, following a riotous afternoon next to the swimming pool. The meal was luxurious but I still apologise for the state in which I left their kitchen! (I usually blame it on Wally!)

Don't be alarmed about the amount of wine used in this recipe. Wine, when boiled, loses its alcohol content but still imparts flavour to the food.

      Preparation Time: 10 Minutes

      Cooking Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients for Paella

If you are not familiar with any ingredients, please check our International Cooking Terms page.
US Imperial Measurements  UK Imperial Measurements  Metric Measurements

Currently displaying quantities in US Imperial Measurements
to serve 4:
chicken portions (thigh or breast)
½ pint
white wine
bouquet garni
14 oz
long grain rice
2 tablespoons
olive oil
red pepper
2 cloves
½ pint
water (approx)
2 doses
saffron powder
salt and pepper
4 oz
frozen prawns
8 oz
frozen seafood cocktail **
4 oz
frozen peas (petits pois)


How to Cook Paella

  1. Place the prawns and seafood cocktail into a sieve (strainer) and allow to defrost, retaining the liquids in a bowl. (Obviously this is not relevant if you are using fresh seafood - then you simply need to peel and prepare it)
  2. Pour approximately half of the wine into a large frying pan or paella pan and add the bouquet garni, then add the chicken portions. Poach over a moderate heat for 20-30 minutes. Allow the chicken to cool a little, then remove any skin. Strain the juices that remain in the pan through a sieve (strainer) and retain the stock along with the juices from the defrosting seafood.
  3. Meanwhile, peel and crush (mince) the garlic, core and seed the red pepper and chop it into small pieces, skin and chop the onion. Pour the Olive oil into the same frying pan or paella pan in which the chicken was cooked, add the garlic, red pepper and onion and gently fry for 5-7 minutes to soften. Add the rice and turn it for a minute in the oil until it is glistening and golden.
  4. Add the remaining white wine to the juices from the defrosted seafood and, if necessary, add water to make the total liquid content up to 20fl oz (600ml or 1pt). Pour this over the rice, heat to simmering point, then stir in the saffron powder. Cover the pan either with a tight fitting lid or with aluminium foil and leave it to cook for 10 minutes (without even peeping at it!).
  5. Remove the cover. By now the rice will have taken on a golden saffron hue and most of the stock liquid will have been absorbed. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste then add the prawns, seafood cocktail and cooked chicken portions. Cover and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the frozen petits pois and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring well to mix all the ingredients. By now, the rice should be moist, but not wet.
  6. Take the paella pan straight to the table for serving.
  7. ** If you have problems finding frozen seafood cocktail, you can buy small tins or jars of mussel, squid and clams in any proportion you want to make up 8oz (225g).

Despite the long list of ingredients, paella is a fairly easy dish to cook. Serve it with a robust Spanish red wine like Rioja.

Incidentally, paella is one of those dishes that seems to "mature" with age! It is excellent for a couple of days after (as long as you keep it refrigerated).
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Reviews of Paella

Rating 4 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again December 03 2014
I have made this recipe twice, first time, I used chicken breasts because I couldn't find thighs, and it was fantastic! The second time I did use the thighs and did not like them at all, it made the paella kind of "greasy." Before I put the leftovers away, I removed and discarded the chicken, and the next day, it was fantastic! So, lesson learned, next time, use chicken breasts, and try reheating it the next day by putting it in a metal dish with some water and covering with foil... Even better!
(7 reviews)
Rating 5 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again August 27 2013
This is fantastic - made it last night for a group of friends and they all kept going back for more.It's very forgiving with substitutions. You can use any spicy cured meat like chorizo - I used some spicy italian cured meat I had left over. I didn't use red pepper either but added a few drops of tabasco, and I used less onion and parsley and it still tasted great. Like you say in your introduction - the ingredients can be changed a little to suit your own personal tastes!
(6 reviews)
Rating 5 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again January 07 2013
Best paella recipe EVER! Made it for friends and it was a hit with everybody. The recipe quantities here would have made more than 4 servings but that's OK coz it really is good reheated next day! This version has authentic flavor, and the process was successful on a stove in a home kitchen. I'll maybe add some chorizo next time but as you say, you can play with it to suit yourself.
(1 review)

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