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 Traditional Paella Recipe

Traditional Paella Recipe. Click picture to enlarge
Click picture to enlarge

This mixed meat and seafood Paella recipe will give you the most delicious meal ever. Truly a delight for your taste buds! This one has been prepared in our kitchen using a normal frying pan.


The best way to approach preparing Paella is to make it a family and friends process. Invite them into the kitchen while you are preparing and cooking it. Share a glass of wine and chat with them as you cook. Make this Paella recipe the centre of one of your evenings and enjoy an authentic Spanish meal.

Most of our paella recipes are prepared in the traditional manner but this one uses the cooker rather than a barbecue and a frying pan instead of a paella pan. The result is different from a traditional paella but if you want a taster before buying some paella equipment than this is the recipe to try.

KEY POINTS For Traditional Paella Recipe

 Preparation Time:  20 mins  Cooking Time:  1 hour 20 mins
 How Difficult  Difficult  Freeze?   No



2 tablespoons Olive oil
One 1.4 kg / 3lb chicken or 375g / ¾lb chicken meat (boned)
12 tiger prawns or 150g / 5oz prawns
6 oysters
350g / 12oz paella rice
1 litre / 1.8 pints chicken stock
150g / 5oz Spanish chorizo sausage
1 large onion
1 green or red pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon saffron strands
225g / 8oz tomatoes
75g / 3oz French beans
50g / 2oz peas (frozen or fresh)
1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

You will need a frying pan (skillet) or similar with a capacity of at least 3 litres (5 pints), probably 3.5 litres (6 pints) is easier to cook with. The base of the frying pan needs to be at least 20cm (8 inches), 25 cm (10 inches) would be better. This will allow you to cook the recipe for 6 servings.

How to cut up or joint a chicken. Click to enlarge. If you plan to chop up the chicken yourself, you will need a very sharp and pretty hefty knife. See the picture on the left for the minimum type of knife required.

Full instructions on how to chop up a chicken (with pictures, of course), can be found by clicking here.

Substitute Ingredients
If you don't fancy the idea of chopping up a whole chicken, boned chicken meat (such as breast or leg meat) will give nearly the same result. Alternatively, you can always ask your butcher to chop up the chicken for you. Most butchers will charge nothing or very little for this service and it will only take them a couple of minutes.

Substitute the fish for almost anything in season. Filleted white fish of any kind will be fine.

Substitute the vegetables for any that are in season. It's best to stick to vegetables which will not fall apart during cooking (e.g. avoid broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower etc). Peas, broad beans, carrots, French beans, runner beans, mushrooms, sweet corn will all go very well with this recipe.

We only use paella rice for our paella recipes, it produces firm rice with grains that separate well. You can use Arborio rice but the results will be a ceamier rice.

Saffron - so expensive and so controversial! We cooked one version of this paella with no saffron and were unable to detect any difference in the taste whatsoever. The yellowing effect on the rice was either non-existent or minimal. The rice naturally yellowed from the chicken juices and chicken stock. We've kept it in the ingredients above because it is so traditional to this recipe, but we seriously doubt that it's expense warrants the taste / colour difference unless you are cooking a paella in the traditional manner

Health Considerations
Just two ingredients to be careful of. First the oysters - click here to find out more about oysters. The second is the other fish in the recipe. Make sure it is well cooked or pre-cooked before adding. Just normal stuff really.


Paella ingredients. Click to enlarge.

Traditional Paella recipe. Click picture to enlarge. If you are using a whole chicken, divide it into 8 parts (2 legs, 2 wings, 4 breast portions). Click here for detailed instructions.

Pour the olive oil in the frying pan and heat to a medium heat. Place half the chicken pieces in the pan and fry them until the chicken on both sides is lightly browned. Place the browned chicken on a plate and brown the remaining chicken pieces in the same way. Remove the chicken pieces from the pan. Leave the olive oil in the pan.

If you are using bacon rather than Spanish chorizo sausage, gently fry the bacon in the pan until cooked through. Cut the bacon into small pieces. Leave the olive oil in the pan.
Traditional Paella Recipe. Click picture to enlarge. Enlarge the picture on the left to see the size of the chopped ingredients.
Cut the red peppers in half, cut out the central white pith and seeds, chop the peppers into smallish pieces.

Cut the cooked bacon or Spanish chorizo sausage and onion into smallish pieces.

Heat the olive oil in the frying pan to a medium heat, add the bacon / Spanish chorizo sausage, onion and peppers and fry for about 8 minutes until the ingredients are softened.
Traditional Pealla Recipe. Click picture to enlarge. Peel, chop and crush the garlic. If using whole tomatoes, chop them into (no need to skin them for this recipe) smallish chunks.

Add the salt, pepper, garlic, tomatoes, cayenne, paprika, saffron, chicken pieces and chicken stock to the pan. Heat the ingredients until they start to boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 12 minutes.

Traditional Pealla Recipe. Click picture to enlarge. Remove the chicken pieces from the frying pan and pour the rice into the centre of the frying pan.

Stir the rice in well and leave to simmer for another 12 minutes. Stir the mixture halfway through to ensure the rice is fully mixed in.

Traditional Pealla Recipe. Click picture to enlarge. Chop the French Beans. Add them, the chicken pieces, the peas and the Tiger prawns to the paella. Cook for another 20 minutes. Stir the paella every 5 minutes or so making sure the Tiger prawns are cooked on both sides.

If the paella becomes on the dry side add water as required.

Before serving, taste the rice to make sure it is fully cooked. Add any extra salt and / or pepper to taste.
Traditional Pealla Recipe. Click picture to enlarge. Garnish the paella with the lemon slices and oysters. Bring it to the table and serve onto warm plates.

A great wine accompaniment for paella would be Rioja. Surprisingly, lager or beer also goes very well with it.


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