Paella l

I think you have to be pretty brave to publish something like a Paella recipe. Somehow you will be doing or adding something that someone somewhere will deem to be wrong and a sacrilege. But since I am not Spanish I guess I can take a liberty or two. Even if it means they will not allow me to enter the country when I next want to visit.

Paella l
And then I still have to mention I used a premixed Paella spice mix. Researching a “correct” Paella recipe is no easy task. There are countless recipes out there with as many comments saying that this is not real paella. Even in Valencia where the dish originates it seems hard to find consensus as to how this dish should be prepared.

The original recipe, said to date back to the 1800’s and contains, rabbit, chicken, snails and 3 types of beans. But travel to Valencia today and you will see many variations on the dish, which made it easier for me to have a slight disregard for the rules in this recipe.

Paella l
The one rule that keeps coming up is that Paella should not be stirred in order to achieve the socarrat – the chewy and golden crust. I have only been able to achieve a very burnt pan when not stirring my paella, so have advocated that you do stir it in this recipe.

Paella l
Feel free to play with the protein ingredients, clams mussels, prawns, langoustines, rabbit, chicken and chorizo (although I have been told the Spanish never use chorizo in paella). At the end of the day you are cooking for your family and friends and that is what food is about – to be happily enjoyed and savoured around a communal table with love , no matter if you have broken a rule or two along the way.



  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 200g chorizo sausage, cubed
  • 4 chicken thighs, skinless, deboned and sliced into 4 pieces each
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 and ½ tbsp paella spice mix
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 500g paella rice
  • 1.5 litre warm stock
  • 6 – 8 large prawns
  • 12 mussels


  1. Heat the oil and add the chorizo and chicken pieces.
  2. Fry until the chorizo has rendered its fat and the chicken pieces are golden all over.
  3. Remove the chorizo and chicken from the pan, leaving the oil in the pan.
  4. Add the 2nd tablespoon olive oil and fry the onions and garlic until soft.
  5. Add the red pepper and fry for another 5 minutes until soft
  6. Add the tinned tomatoes, spice mix and paprika mix and fry the mixture for about 8 minutes until thickened, stirring constantly.
  7. Add the rice and mix through.
  8. Return the chorizo and chicken and mix with the rice.
  9. Add the stock and let the mix simmer for 20 minutes, stirring once a while.
  10. Place the prawns and mussels on top of the rice and cover the pan with foil.
  11. Let the mixture simmer for another 15 minutes over a low heat until the seafood is cooked and the stock has just been absorbed.
  12. Serve with lemon wedges.
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