Types of paella include Valencian paella, vegetable paella (Spanish: paella de verduras), seafood paella (Spanish: paella de mariscos), and mixed paella (Spanish: paella mixta), among many others. Valencian paella is believed to be the original recipe and consists of white rice (which must be round grain), green beans (bajoqueta and tavella), meat (chicken and rabbit, sometimes duck), garrofó (a variety of lima beans or butterbeans), sometimes snails, and seasoning such as saffron and rosemary. Another very common but seasonal ingredient is artichokes. Seafood paella replaces meat with seafood and omits beans and green vegetables. Mixed paella is a free-style combination of meat from land animals, seafood, vegetables, and sometimes beans. Most paella chefs use bomba rice due to it being less likely to overcook, but Valencians tend to use a slightly stickier (and thus more susceptible to overcooking) variety known as Senia. All types of paellas use olive oil.
25 mins to prepare and 40 mins to cook, 40 mins to cool
large pinch saffron strands
600ml vegetable or chicken stock
3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
125g chorizo, roughly chopped
500g boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (or a mix), chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 tsp paprika
250g Spanish paella rice
4 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
75g frozen peas
250g cooked prawns with shells on (thawed if frozen) and rinsed
small handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to serve
chopped lemon wedges, to serve
- Stir the saffron strands into the stock and set aside to infuse while you prepare the rest of the paella.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a paella pan or a large deep frying pan with a lid. Tip in the chorizo and fry for about 3 mins until crisp and the oil has been released. Remove the chorizo and drain on kitchen paper, leaving the oil in the pan.
- Stir the chicken into the pan and fry over high heat for 7-8 mins, or until the meat is golden and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and set aside.
- Pour another 1 tbsp of oil into the pan, tip in the chopped onion and garlic and stir-fry for 4-5 mins, until softened and just starting to color. Stir in the pepper and paprika with the remaining tablespoon of oil and stir-fry for a further 1-2 mins. The pan should have lots of crispy, brown bits on the bottom, which will all add flavor.
- With the heat still quite high, quickly stir in the rice so it is well-coated in the oil, then pour in the saffron-infused stock plus 450ml boiling water, scraping up the sticky brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Return the browned chicken pieces to the pan, then add the chopped tomatoes. Cover the pan and cook on medium heat for 10 mins, stirring once or twice. Scatter the peas, prawns and fried chorizo over the top, cover again and leave to cook a further 5 mins, or until the rice is just cooked and most of the liquid in the pan has been absorbed.
- Remove the pan from the heat, put the lid on and leave to rest for 5 mins. Stir a few times to mix the ingredients, season to taste and scatter over the chopped parsley. Serve with lemon wedges and an extra drizzle of oil, if you like.