Spectacular Spanish. Mel makes lazy but sexy Paella

Post Category: Signature Recipes


Spectacular Spanish…who wants to make lazy but perfect Paella.


Spectacular Paella made easy

(Serves 6-8)

1 large onion finely sliced

3-6 cloves garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

pinch saffron threads, soak in 30ml boiling hot water, allow to seep

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 tablespoon paprika (sweet or smoked)

2-3 teaspoons chicken stock powder or 2 stock cubes mixed into 1 liter boiling hot water OR use 1 liter prepared chicken stock

12-16 prawns whole or peeled tail on (optional) substitute with 12-16 chipolata sausage if you want!

12-16 scallops roe off (optional, omit if you prefer)

800g chicken pieces skin on OR skin-free chicken strips

2-3 chorizo sausages, sliced (you can never add too many of these!)

12-16 gorgeous mussels (green lip or your favourite)

350g medium grain rice

1 green capsicum cut into strips seeds removed

1 red capsicum cut into strips seeds removed

200g button or brown mushrooms

1 tablespoon butter

2 lemons

fresh parsley and edible petals for garnish (optional)


1. Spray a Paella pan or large frying pan big enough to cook for 6-8 people, with canola cooking spray.  Put over the heat and allow the pan to get nice and hot! I call this swear-word hot so you know how hot I want it.  Getting the pan nice and hot will help you to brown everything beautifully which will add beautiful flavour and personality to the dish.  Stewed grey food does not taste sexy!

2. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and allow to heat and then add the chorizo slices, they should sizzle nice and hot as they hit the pan.  Only stir once the first layer that hit the pan has browned off nicely.  Stir a little to brown off most of the chorizo, and then add the chicken pieces into the fat that will render off the chorizo.  This will help the chicken pieces or strips brown up and get valuable flavour.  Please don’t stir too much, keep the sizzle up in the pan at ALL TIMES!  Turn occasionally and make sure nothing burns, it’s all about managing the heat in the pan.  A nice even sizzle the entire browning phase is optimal!  Step away from the pan if you’re a compulsive stirrer! But also don’t allow it to burn!

3. Once most of the chicken and chorizo is browned, it doesn’t have to be fully cooked through at this stage, add the onions and turmeric and paprika and the garlic and stir through to cook until tender and the spices are fragrant.

4. Remove this mixture from your pan into a big bowl and return the pan to the heat.  Now allow the pan to heat up 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil and brown the prawns (optional) and scallops (otpional) on both sides in a nice sizzling hot pan.  If you aren’t using seafood, I suggested adding delicious little chipolata sausages instead, those could go in with the chicken and chorizo though, but with the seafood you are best to have a swear word hot EMPTY pan so they brown off beautifully and don’t stew in an over crowded pan.

5. Once seafood/sausages are cooked add to the chicken chorizo mix and set aside.  We will add these back into the pan in a minute or two!

6. Now add  1 tablespoon of the olive oil and when hot add the rice (dry and raw) into the oil and stir to coat, add the capsicum strips and mushroom and then the stock. Add the saffron threads and their yellow water. The stock should cover the rice mixture and be full of flavour even at this stage.   Now add all the chicken and prawn and chorizo mix back over this rice mixture, all that lovely flavour with cook through into your rice.

7.  Reduce the heat and make sure that all of your rice is below the liquid line, if not just use a spoon to dip it under or else it WON’T COOK!   Allow to cook over this low heat for about 20 minutes, you can partially cover with a big lid.  You must cook over a low heat or else this will burn instead of making the sexy and delcious Paella ‘crust’ where the rice brownes and forms a delcious layer…

After 20 minutes test some of the rice, it should be nice and tender and tasty. Adjust the seasoning as necessary and then also check if you have chicken pieces if you’ve used them, have cooked through.  You can add a little more liquid if your liquid has completely cooked away and the rice still is sheer.

8.Add the mussels and then put the lid back on and let them steam for about 5-10 minutes.

When the mussels are done you are ready to serve, squeeze one lemon over the gorgeous dish, garnish with the parsley and the petals and serve!  

I was ready before my guests were, so I popped the whole Paella pan in the oven at about 80 degrees celcius just to hold it until they were ready!


So worth it!

Happy Cooking

Your Foodie Godmother

Chef Mel!