chicken, chorizo, squid, prawn & mussel paella – serves 4

150g chorizo, halved lengthways and sliced
500g chicken thighs, skinless, boneless and cut into large chunks
500g fresh mussels, cleaned, or 200g frozen mussels, thawed
8 small squid, cut into rings
8 large tiger prawns, shell on
25ml olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
1 green pepper, deseeded and diced
1 tbsp thyme leaves
2 tsp smoked sweet paprika
400g Bomba paella rice
125ml dry sherry or white wine
1 ltr chicken stock, hot
good pinch of saffron
3 large plum tomatoes, skined, deseeded and diced
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
lemon wedges, to serve

Heat the olive oil in a large paella pan (or a large shallow frying pan will suffice). I use a heat diffuser unde the paella pan to prevent the rice burning too much, although the Spanish seem to like a little burnt rice on the base.

Add the chopped onions and peppers. Sauté the vegetables for a few minutes until the onions begin to soften.

Add the garlic and paprika and saute for another minute. Push the vegatables to one side.

Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and add to the pan along with the chorizo. Fry, stirring frequently, over a high heat to lightly seal the meat. The chorizo will start to ooze a lovely golden oil.

Add the the rice, stirring to coat in the oil.

Stir in the sherry or white wine.

When this is almost all evaporated, add the hot stock. Bring to a simmer, add the saffron stirring well to mix this expensive ingredient evenly.

Add the thyme and tomatoes, stir and simmer for 10 minutes

Add the squid and prawns, stirring them into the rice a little and cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn the prawns over after a couple of minutes

Add the mussels, adding a little more stock or hot water if necessary, until the mussels have opened and the rice is just tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.

Take the pan off the heat, cover with foil and leave to stand for 5 minutes

Scatter over the parsley and serve with lemon wedges around the pan.

And lots of Rioja....

This is a mixed paella which is a free-style combination of meat, seafood and vegetables

Paella is really road kill of the sea, so throw in what you have to hand

Paella pans are dirt cheap these days. I have a simple enamelled steel pan which I bought in a Spanish supermarket years ago for about 7 euro, which works just fine. No need for fancy stainless steel.