Spanish Paella

This classic Spanish one-pot dish is a great summer sharing recipe.

The beauty of paella is that the recipe is very adaptable to whatever you have in fridge - as long as you have the basics of rice, saffron, chicken and vegetables, the rest can vary depending on what you and your guests fancy.

Serve with a good bottle of wine and a side salad for a simple yet delicious meal. 

Serves 8

Cooking Time: Approx. 1 hour

Ingredients

Herb Blend:

25g fresh parsley, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon 
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, crushed

Paella:

250ml water
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1.4 litres chicken stock
8 large prawns, peeled, de-veined but the tails in tact
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 skinned, boned chicken thighs, cut in half
120g Spanish chorizo sausage, cut into 1cm thick slices
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
Tin chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
600g Arborio rice or other short-grain rice (uncooked)
150g frozen peas
8 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
Juice of 1 lemon 
Lemon wedges, to serve 

Method

1. First, make the herb blend by combining all of these ingredients in a bowl. Set aside for later.

2. To prepare the paella, combine water, saffron, and chicken stock in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer (do not boil) and then keep warm over low heat.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large paella pan or large heavy based frying pan over medium-high heat.

4. Add the chicken and brown for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan.

5. Next add the chorizo and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from pan.

6. Add the prawns and again cook for 2 minutes before removing from the pan.

7. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onion and red pepper and cook for 15 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally.

8. Add tomatoes, paprika, and garlic cloves and cook for a further 5 minutes.

9. Next add the rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

10. Stir in herb blend, chicken stock mixture, chicken, chorizo, and peas, 

11. Bring to a low boil and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

12. Add the mussels to pan, nestling them into rice mixture and cook for 5 minutes or until the shells open. Discard any unopened shells.

13. Arrange the prawns, head end down, in the rice mixture and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the prawns are done.

14. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and remove the pan from the heat. Cover with a towel and leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving with lemon wedges.