First posted: Jul 22, 2013

Simple Paella


Sue Harvie’s Paella



Cooks in:        Serves:6

  • 20 fresh mussels (cleaned)
  • 1 red onion
  • 1T butter
  • 125ml white wine
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • large red onion, chopped
  • 125g chorizo, good quality
  • 8 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 500g skinned boned chicken 
thigh fillets, cut in half
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked Spanish 
paprika (or ordinary paprika)
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Leaves from 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano leaves
  • 400g tin chopped tomato
  • 500g paella or risotto rice
  • Wine liquid from steamed 
  • Saffron threads (quarter tsp)
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 litre chicken stock or more (preferably home made)
  • 1kg whole prawns
  • 1 roasted red pepper
  • 1 roasted yellow pepper
  • Fresh chopped chive or 
spring onions
  • Chopped parsley (garnish)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

What to do

For the Mussels
1. Soften chopped red onion in butter in large pot. Add white wine and simmer for a minute before adding the mussels. Put lid on pot and simmer until the shells have opened.

2. Strain mussels in colander reserving the mussels in shells, reserve stock separately. Discard any unopened mussels. Set aside mussels and stock.

For the Paella
1. Heat olive oil in large paella pan. Add peppers and gently fry. Only add the onion once the peppers have started to soften. Cook onion and pepper mixture for 8 minutes before adding chopped Chorizo and garlic. Allow the oil to run out of the Chorizo before adding the chicken.

2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken in pan with chorizo and onions. Ensure heat is not too high and you do not burn the Chorizo.

3. Sprinkle the paprika and pinch cayenne (optional) over the chicken and onion mixture. Add the oregano, sprig thyme and bay leaves with the tin of 

4. Add the rice to the chicken and tomato mixture. Stir for 2 minutes.

5. Combine the saffron threads with the reserved mussel liquid. Add to pan. When the liquid has been absorbed add the beer.

6. Simmer the paella on a low heat adding the warm chicken stock as required. The amount of stock varies according to the variety of rice used. Allow to simmer for at least 30 to 40 minutes keeping an eye on the stock required until the rice is cooked. Check seasoning.

7. Season the prawns with a squeeze of lemon, and with salt and pepper. Reserve the whole prawns to cook later. Eight minutes before the paella is cooked, scatter the prawns on top of the paella pushing them down gently into the mixture. Once prawns are cooked place reserved mussels in their shells on top of paella to warm through. If you have reserved whole deveined prawns to garnish, quickly throw them in a separate pan to cook with a mixture of butter and olive oil, chilli and garlic optional.

8. Garnish the paella with whole prawns, sliced roasted peppers, chopped chives/spring onions and chopped parsley. Serve lemon wedges on the side
or use as garnish.

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