Spanish Paella

The perfect one-pot summer sharing dish, this Spanish paella is best enjoyed alfresco with a good bottle of white and a green salad.

Paella is fantastically versatile. As long as you have the basics of rice, saffron, chicken and vegetables, the recipe can be adapted to whatever you have in your fridge so even the fussiest friends or family can be catered for!

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.