Paella – Fiesta in a pan till the morning after…

The great thing about food and recipes is that you can add one or two local ingredients of your own and a new recipe is born. I guess that is the way many great recipes come about today. Like music and ideas, not many are truly originals anymore.

Ole ! Paella - a festive dish

Paella is one of those traditional Spanish dishes that has been around forever and there are many variations dished up around the world today but my favourite is the mixed paella. A little chicken, some seafood and of course chourico. No matter what you put into it, the name still remains the same – “paella” derived from the word “paellera” which means pan.
I have one such pan which was given to me by my father in law. This pan is used for anything, from potatoes to casseroles and naturally, Paella.
The secret ingredient in paella is of course saffron, which gives the rice that distinct yellowish colour. Traditionally, the dish calls for rabbit, which I have not used and I have replaced the mussels in the shell with smoked mussels.
I had some friends around on Friday and made Paella but there was alot left over. I guess after some snacks and a little wine, no-one had much space left to indulge. Cooking around the fire is always great fun and the wine tastes better and better as you wait for your food!
What I love about Paella is that, for me anyway, it tastes better when eaten cold, the day after and straight from the pan…

On Saturday we went to the Jacaranda 94.2 Concert and that is where I enjoyed my paella (not straight from the pan) but still tasty. We had a lovely picnic on the lawn, listening to good music and feasting on paella.
What a wonderful dish to celebrate Earth Hour.
Lighting the lanterns at the 94.2 concert at 8h30 for Earth Hour.

Paella the South African way, outdoors.

This is my revisited, modified version of Paella.


1 large onion finely chopped
8 cloves of garlic finely chopped
125ml Tomato puree or two chopped tomatoes
2 small peppers (green and red or yellow)
Plenty olive oil
3 cups chicken
1 cup white wine
1 chicken chopped up into small pieces (could use chicken breasts as well)
2 tsp Paprika
Salt to taste
Rice (short grain)
¼ to ½ tsp saffron strands

1 chourico cut into thin slices
250g shrimps
250g calamari strips
2 tins Smoked Mussels
8 – 12 King size prawns – 1 or 2 per person

Par boil the chicken pieces in a large pot for about 10 minutes and save the stock.
Place the large “paellera” on a gas burner or on the fire.
Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan.
Heat the olive oil and add the onion, green pepper and garlic.
Fry gently for about five minutes.
Add the chicken pieces and the chourico and fry quickly for 2-3 minutes.
Add the shrimps and calamari strips and stir.
Add the tomato and simmer for another ten minutes.
Fry everything for about 2 minutes and add the wine.
Add all the spices ( paprika, salt, saffron and 2Tsp lemon juice)
Add the rice and enough stock to cover the rice.
Give it a taste and add more salt if necessary.
Arrange the prawns and mussels on the top and cover with a lid or foil and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the rice is cooked. This must be on very low heat and must be checked so as not to burn and dry out the rice. If the rice is getting too dry, add some more stock or water and gently shake the pan by the handles but do not stir.
This does not get stirred again until ready to serve.

Enjoy with a glass of dry rosé wine like Fish Hoek Rosé.


49 thoughts on “Paella – Fiesta in a pan till the morning after…

  1. Such a spectacular dish — I think I may feel compelled to try your recipe … just to see if I can make mine look as pretty!

    (Quick aside: Nope, I definitely can’t…)

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed for this awesome recipe!


  2. Thank you for noticing how wonderful paella is cold–the next day–even better than hot the night before. I wondered if I was the only one who loved it right out of the frig!

    And congrats on being freshly pressed. Hang on for the ride!

  3. I’ve never had paella, and the only time I’ve seen it was on Sienfeld. This post makes me want it!

    Beats frozen pizza that is for sure!

    1. I would love it if my kids tried anything other then chicken nuggets and pb&j’s…At least they ate the other stuff. Funny, I think the shrimp would be the best part! Kids 🙂

  4. you got my mouth salivating. ive never had paella yet but i have heard amazing things. i kind of want to go out and get it then try to make it on my own, ill pencil this recipe down. thanks!

  5. I’ve tried Paella once and has been a big fan since! I did attempt to make Paella at home one time but failed miserably because I tried to substitute saffron with turmeric for its yellow hue. And I was feeling restless when it was simmering, opening to have a peek too often. Some rice ended up undercooked. Perhaps I should give it another try with your recipe here 🙂 Wonderful blog you have here, congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  6. Oh no, another food blog with delicious photos! Arrrgh. And shrimp, no less. In our household, the humans love shrimp, and the feline loves it more! I have to stop reading food blogs in the late afternoon. It’s just killing me.

  7. This sounds different and interesting in comparison to our regular meal dishes. I am going to have to make the basic recipe and try different meats. We are not much for seafood at my house. Nice pics and great job on Freshly Pressed! I am gonna check out your other dishes!

  8. Hubbs and I were just talking tonight about the Venezuelan couple we met in Houston and how she made us Paella … and we ate at 11pm and didn’t care because 1) it was so fantastically good and 2) we were rather pickled from the marvelous wine & company.

    Wonderful post; looks delicious to me 🙂

  9. Looks yummers, that paella. For some spiciness, I put in a thumbnail of sambal olek paste (red chili paste originally from Malaysia) that I fry up with onions and garlic first before I add other stuff.

    My partner just returned from Spain, where he tried different variations of paella.

    I like the way how you used this theme template, especially your banner/background design that extends over left-hand side. Very eye-catching!

  10. My mom used to make a delicious Paella and now my wife does a great dish herself. There’s the basic recipe but it’s the individual’s personal touch that makes it a distinctive, special delicacy.

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