Originating in Valencia on the east coast of Spain, paella is traditionally cooked in a paellera, a large, flat-bottomed pan designed to ensure even cooking. A large variety of ingredients can be used to make paella, along with calasparra or bomba rice, found in Spanish delis, for its superior ability to absorb liquid and flavour. To cook paella for large groups, calculate 80 g rice per person and 2 cups of stock for every cup of rice.
- 2 red capsicums, 1 left whole, 1 finely chopped
- 1 pinch saffron threads
- 2 tsp salt
- 60 ml (¼ cup) tbsp olive oil
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 large tomato, peeled and finely chopped
- 300 g chicken thigh fillets, diced
- 200 g squid, diced
- 300 g calasparra or bomba rice
- 750 ml (3 cups) hot fish stock
- 3 tsp Spanish smoked paprika
- 4 large green prawns
- 1 blue swimmer crab, quartered
- 8 mussels
- 12 pippies
- 100 g cooked peas
- ⅓ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.
Preheat oven to 200˚C.
Place 1 capsicum in the oven and roast for 25–30 minutes until blistered. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to steam for 5 minutes (this will make it easy to peel). Remove the skin and seeds, chop the flesh into long strips and set aside.
Grind the saffron and salt in a mortar.
Heat the oil in a large paella pan (or frying pan) over medium heat. Add the chopped capsicum, onion, and garlic and cook for 2–3 minutes until the onion softens. Add the tomato, chicken, squid and rice and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock, paprika and crushed saffron and salt, and stir to combine. Bring to the boil then arrange the prawns and crab on top of the rice. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 12 minutes until the stock has reduced enough and you can see the rice underneath. Push the mussels and pippies into the rice and cook for 5 minutes until their shells open. Reduce the heat to low, scatter the peas, roasted capsicum and parsley over the top and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Photography by Alan Benson