Posted on


Paella takes its name from the typical wide, shallow saucepan used for this ever-popular Spanish rice dish with magnificent contrasting flavours, colours and textures. To simplify and save time, cook the ingredients simultaneously in two smaller saucepans and the large shallow paella-style pan.  Read more about National Spanish Paella Day here.

150 ml sunflower or olive oil or half of each
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
2 – 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 large red tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium green pepper, seeded and cut into strips
250 g / 300 ml parboiled or polished rice
750 ml boiling water
7,5 ml chicken stock powder
1 ml saffron or 2,5 ml turmeric
200 ml white wine (semisweet or dry)
2,5 ml salt
± 300 g thickly sliced smoked or cooked ham
250 ml frozen peas
± 1 kg boneless skinless chicken breasts
125 ml cake flour or gluten or wheat-free flour
2,5 m salt
additional pinch of saffron or 1ml turmeric
1ml black pepper
± 1 kg combined seafood, e.g. firm white fish, shelled and de-veined prawns, etc.
2,5 ml salt
few drops Tabasco sauce or a dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

To serve and garnish
± 200 g canned, shelled mussels or half shell mussels drained and rinsed or
frozen, shelled or half shell mussels, rinsed in boiling water and drained
black or Calamata olives
chopped parsley
sprigs of fresh herbs

  1. Select one large saucepan or paella–style pan and 2 smaller saucepans and place 50 ml of the oil into each.
  2. Place the onions and garlic into the large saucepan and sauté gently, stirring form time to time until tender.
  3. Add the tomato, green pepper and rice and stir-fry 5 minutes more.
  4. Add the water, stock powder, saffron or turmeric, wine and salt and bring to the boil.
  5. Lower the heat and boil gently until the liquid just covers the rice.
  6. Cut the ham into strips and place with the peas and if used plain, the mussels and oysters as well, on top of the rice.
  7. Cover and simmer gently until the rice is tender and dry and the ingredients on top cooked to taste.
  8. Meanwhile, cut the chicken into 2 cm dices and toss in the combined flour, salt, saffron or turmeric and black pepper.
  9. Heat the oil in the second saucepan and stir-fry the chicken until golden brown, crisp and cooked and set aside.
  10. If frozen seafood is used, rinse in a colander to remove any ice particles and dry well. Cut the fish into 2 cm dices.
  11. Heat the oil in the third saucepan and stir-fry the seafood and fish until cooked and lightly browned. Sprinkle with salt and Tabasco or cayenne pepper and set aside.
  12. Place the cooked chicken and seafood, except the prawns in the shells onto the rie mixture when cooked and toss all together gently.
  13. Serve from the paella-style pan or turn into a warm serving dish and garnish with the prawns in the shells and if used, crumbed oysters and mussels.
  14. Sprinkle with parsley, place the olives on top and garnish with sprigs of herbs.
  15. Serve hot with crusty bread and a mixed green salad.

See the Art Of Cooking Recipe Book for tips on storing, freezing and enlarging paella.

8 generous servings.


  • To make paella successfully use rice that does not stick together such as parboiled or polished rice.
  • Saffron is the typically used flavouring and colouring agent but it is costly and may be replaced by turmeric.
  • Frozen or canned mussels and oysters are often used in paella. They may be used as is or crumbed and fried before placing on top of the paella.

Seafood (only) Paella
Omit the chicken and ham and increase the mixed seafood to aout 2 kg.
Vegetable Paella
Omit the chicken, ham and seafood and add about 2 kg lightly cooked or roasted mixed vegetables to the basic rice.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking recipe book page 445.