To serve 8-10 generously you need

For the herb blend

250ml chopped parsley

Grated zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

2 large cloves garlic crushed

30ml olive oil

For the paella

750ml chicken, vegetable or fish stock (do not use cubes)

About 5ml saffron threads or turmeric

10ml sweet (dolce) paprika

5ml salt

30ml canola oil

Chicken portions, I prefer using skin on thighs and drumsticks, but you can use any portions. If you are using thighs you can cut them in half or leave them whole. Breasts can be cut into 3 portions.

About 300g chorizo, skin removed and sliced 3-4mm thick

500ml chopped white onion

250ml chopped red pepper

1 small can (410g) diced tomatoes

3 large cloves garlic

750ml Arborio rice or any other short grained rice; the Asian rices e.g. Jasmine or Sushi rice do not work well as the grains tend to become sticky


Few extra slices of chorizo for presentation

Approx 30g Calamari rings or tubes per serving

1 large prawn per serving, deveined (if they are large, I like to leave the shell on but cut them in half lengthwise; if smaller leave whole)

3 mussels (I buy frozen on half shell) per serving

200ml green peas (frozen)

Lemon wedges

To prepare

  1. Make the herb blend by mixing all the ingredients and set it aside
  2. Heat the stock and add the saffron or turmeric and salt and set it aside
  3. Heat the canola oil and place the chicken portions, skin side down to fry until the skin is golden, turn the lightly cook the underside of the portions, remove from the pan and set it aside
  4. Add the prawns and sauté them lightly and set them aside
  5. Heat the remaining oil and add the chorizo, onions and red pepper. Sauté until the veggies soften, add the tinned tomatoes and garlic and continue cooking for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the rice and stir in the herb blend
  7. Arrange the chicken on the rice mixture, skin side up
  8. Pour the stock over. If the pan is too full, you can top it up later as the liquid is absorbed by the rice.


9. Cover the pan with foil or a lid and allow it to gently simmer for about 20 minutes. Most of the liquid should absorbed by the rice. The rice grains must be plump and loose

10. Remove the foil and test to see if the thickest chicken portion is cooked

11. Arrange the prawns, chorizo (optional) and muscles on top. If you are adding peas sprinkle them over and simmer covered for 10 minutes.

12. Uncover and heat for a few minutes to start drying the rice at the edges of the pan, but NOT allowing it to burn.

13. Serve with wedges of lemon

If you have the correct pan to fit on a gas barbeque or open fire, the entire dish can be prepared outdoors.

As this is a bold dish Spanish red wine works well

Prepare a complete Spanish meal by starting with gaspacho (chilled tomato soup)

For dessert I recommend panacotta or a fruit based ice cream