One of my favourite dishes of all time, and something I will definitely order if I see it on a menu in a restaurant. The seafood version (mussels, clams, prawns, lobster, squid) from Valencia is the best, but the meat version (chicken, pork, rabbit) stacks up pretty well too.



3          Chicken breasts or thighs, skin removed

100g    Chorizo, sliced

4 tbs     Olive oil

1          Onion, finely chopped

4          Garlic cloves, finely chopped

100ml  White wine

2 lt.      Chicken stock, hot

2          Large pinches saffron strands

1 tbs     Smoked paprika

500g    Paella rice

3          Tomatoes, skinned and chopped (use fresh not tinned)

1          Small bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped, stalks chopped

2          Handfuls fresh or frozen peas

10        King prawns, de-shelled, deveined and slit down the back

500g    Mussels, scrubbed (or use baby clams)

2          Small squid, halved and scored

25g      Butter, diced

Plain flour, for dusting

Salt and black pepper


Preparation and cooking

Season the chicken pieces and dust with flour. Heat a little olive oil in a large deep pan and fry the chicken until golden brown on both sides. Remove the chicken and add a little more olive oil to the pan.   Add the sliced chorizo and fry until browned and crispy. Then add the onion and garlic and cook until soft. Meanwhile infuse half the hot chicken stock with the saffron. Add the smoked paprika and rice to the pan and leave to cook on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes ensuring the rice is well coated. Next add the white wine and allow the rice to absorb it fully. Now add the tomatoes and infused stock to the pan and leave to cook on a medium heat, stirring from time to time.
After 20 minutes the rice should be nearly cooked. At this point, pour in the rest of the stock along with the browned chicken, peas, prawns, and the mussels or baby clams and squid if you are using them. Place a lid on the pan and cook for 10 minutes more, until the chicken is cooked through. Finally, add the butter, mx well and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley and a wedge of lemon.


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