- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion , chopped
- 6 large cloves garlic , finely chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper (capsicum), diced into small pieces
- 4 large boneless , skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 4 large-sized tomatoes , chopped
- Salt and pepper , to taste
- 10-12 mussels , scraped and cleaned properly
- 8- ounces | 250 g calamari rings
- 4 cups chicken (or fish) broth/stock*
- 2 cups medium grain or jasmine rice
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1 teaspoon saffron powder (or 1 teaspoon saffron threads)
- 21- ounces (600 grams) shrimp (prawns)**
- 2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf chopped parsley
- Fire roasted bell peppers (capsicum) strips
Heat oil in a large sized non-stick pan or well seasoned skillet (or a paella pan if you have one), over medium heat. Fry onion, garlic and capsicum together; cook until onion is transparent (about 3 minutes). Add in the chicken and fry until chicken is golden on all sides. Add in the chopped tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Cook the tomatoes for 5 minutes until they release liquid and the tomatoes begin to create a sauce.
Add the mussels (if using), and calamari rings, allow to cook for a further 5 minutes. Pour in the stock (or broth), the rice, peas and saffron. Mix all ingredients until well combined.
Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and cover to allow MOST of the liquid to absorb into the rice, while stirring occasionally to prevent rice from sticking and burning to the pan underneath. (Cook until the rice is ALMOST cooked through.)
Add in the prawns, mixing them through the rice, and cover again to allow the prawns and rice to cook completely.
Once cooked, sprinkle with the parsley. Place capsicum strips over the top of the paella for enhanced flavour to serve. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil over the top before serving.
**Use shrimp (or prawns), that you prefer to eat. Fully shelled is ideal and traditional in paella, but we prefer peeled, tail on shrimp. You can also use full peeled and tail off if you preferThe seafood added in this recipe is ALL OPTIONAL! Don’t like Mussels? Don’t add them! Love clams instead? Add them instead! Don’t like shrimp? Replace with something else. Adapt it to your own preference.
Chicken can be replaced with pork OR left out all together.
SEAFOOD can be left out and replaced with all chicken! (See where I’m going with this?) Just add an extra 2 large chicken thigh fillets, or more depending on how many people you are serving.
Rice. My mother ALWAYS uses with medium grain or jasmine rice. That is the best rice that works incredibly well with this recipe, and is easily accessible in every supermarket in the world. For this reason, I’m listing these options. Arborio rice? NO! You will get a smushy risotto! This is PAELLA, not risotto.
Please, if you can help it, NO TINNED TOMATOES! Fresh vine ripened tomatoes give the BEST flavour that can’t be replaced. Of course, if you only have canned, then use them, BUT we personally don’t like the flavour.
We make our own fire roasted peppers by placing them on direct flame over a gas cooker or stove top, until they char and the skin begins to crease and sometimes peel. If you’re not comfortable doing this, store-bought is fine to use.