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Classic Spanish Paella Recipe

Paella is one of my favourite foods of all time.

Easy paella recipe
Paella is one of my favourite foods of all time.

As far as I know, paella is a traditional dish from the Community of Valencia. It consists of rice as well as anything else that you fancy. 

Normally this dish is prepared in an enormous pan with handles called a paella, in the Valencian language (this language is officially recognised and it’s an alternative name for Catalan). In the rest of Spain, paella is known as a ‘paellera’

In most Spanish households, paella is eaten on a weekly basis, especially on Sundays. Back in the day, Paella was considered a poor mans dish that has changed over the years.

For me, a truly great paella is loaded with seafood and meat with plump grains of rice that are firm to the bite, yet coated in a layer of flavour thanks to all the ingredients it is cooked with. The seafood should be fresh – really fresh – plump and succulent including things like prawns, octopus, squid, mussels, or whatever other seafood is fresh at the fishmonger today. In case you can’t find fresh seafood use frozen seafood from the grocery store. 

The following recipe achieved all my goals and best of all it’s simple enough to make on a weeknight by a busy person like me. In fact, if I can do it you can definitely do it too.

Easy paella Recipe

Ingredients

  • large pinch saffron strands
  • 1 vegetable or chicken stock cube, made up to 500ml
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 400g boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (or a mix), chopped
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 300g Spanish paella rice
  • 200ml tomato passata
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 400g frozen seafood mix – mussels, prawns, calamari etc. 
  • small handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to serve
  • chopped lemon wedges, to serve

Method

Start by stirring the saffron strands into the stock and setting aside to infuse while you prepare the rest of the paella.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add half of the sliced onion and soften for 5 mins.

Stir in 1 tsp hot smoked paprika, 1 tsp dried thyme and 300g paella or risotto rice, stir for 1 min, then splash in 3 tbsp sherry or white wine, if using.

Once it has evaporated, stir in 300ml of tomato juice with garlic, pepper and 500ml chicken (vegetable) stock. 

Season well and cook, uncovered, for about 15 mins, stirring now and again until rice is almost tender and still surrounded with some liquid.

While the rice is cooking on a separate pan ad thee rest of the sliced onion, soften for 5 mins then add the frozen seafood. Splash 3 tbsp sherry or white wine and cook until the wine has evaporated.  

Now stir the seafood mix and peas into the pan with the cooked rice and cover with a lid. Simmer for 5 mins, or until the seafood is cooked through and the rice is tender.

Squeeze over the juice of ½ lemon, scatter with a handful of flat-leaf parsley and serve with wedges from the remaining ½ lemon.

Classic Spanish Paella Recipe
Classic Spanish Paella Recipe

Print this recipe

Paella is one of my favourite foods of all time.
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
 

This simple classic paella recipe uses a mix of meat, seafood and colourful veg for a lively combination of flavours and textures.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Keyword: pella, seafood, spanish recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 281 kcal
Ingredients
  • large pinch saffron strands
  • 1 vegetable or chicken stock cube made up to 500ml
  • 3 tbsp olive oil plus extra for drizzling
  • 400 g boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs (or a mix), chopped
  • 1 onion finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper deseeded and sliced
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 300 g Spanish paella rice
  • 200 ml tomato passata
  • 100 g frozen peas
  • 400 g frozen seafood mix – mussels prawns, calamari etc.
  • small handful flat-leaf parsley chopped, to serve
  • chopped lemon wedges to serve
Instructions
  1. Start by stirring the saffron strands into the stock and setting aside to infuse while you prepare the rest of the paella.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add half of the sliced onion and soften for 5 mins.
  3. Stir in 1 tsp hot smoked paprika, 1 tsp dried thyme and 300g paella or risotto rice, stir for 1 min, then splash in 3 tbsp sherry or white wine, if using.
  4. Once it has evaporated, stir in 300ml of tomato juice with garlic, pepper and 500ml chicken (vegetable) stock.
  5. Season well and cook, uncovered, for about 15 mins, stirring now and again until rice is almost tender and still surrounded with some liquid.
  6. While the rice is cooking on a separate pan ad thee rest of the sliced onion, soften for 5 mins then add the frozen seafood. Splash 3 tbsp sherry or white wine and cook until the wine has evaporated.
  7. Now stir the seafood mix and peas into the pan with the cooked rice and cover with a lid. Simmer for 5 mins, or until the seafood is cooked through and the rice is tender.
  8. Squeeze over the juice of ½ lemon, scatter with a handful of flat-leaf parsley and serve with wedges from the remaining ½ lemon.

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