Recipe courtesy of Janet Mendel


This is a dish for celebration, usually cooked over an open fire outside on a Sunday afternoon for a family gathering or festivity. This is Spain's most recognized dish.
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  • Total: 1 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings
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3 tablespoons olive oil

6 chicken thighs

Salt (to taste)

2 cloves garlic, crushed with a little salt

1/2 green pepper, seeded and diced

1 large ripe tomato, skinned and finely chopped or grated

2 cups Bomba or Valencia rice (Spanish short grain rice, risotto rice can be substituted)

10 threads saffron, soaked in a little boiling water

8 cups fresh chicken, vegetable or fish stock

8 king prawns, keep their shells, heads and tails on

1 cup sliced cleaned squid (calamari)

1 lemon sliced thinly, for garnish


  1. Heat a paella pan, (the pan should be wide enough to be covered by the rice in a thin layer). As soon as the pan is hot add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then add the chicken thighs, a pinch of salt, and let them brown slightly, turning them patiently.
  2. When they are cooked through, (no juices run pink), add the garlic, green pepper and tomatoes. Add the rice and stir in until translucent. Add the saffron with the water it has soaked in and stir well. Then add 1/2 the stock slowly, submerging the ingredients. Add the king sized prawns and the squid.
  3. Bring to the boil and leave to cook without stirring for 12 minutes adding more stock if the surface dries out. After 12 minutes the rice should still look succulent and juicy. Remove from the heat, cover with a thick cloth and leave to stand for a further 10 minutes for the rice to finish soaking up the remaining juices.
  4. Feel welcome to dress the paella with thick slices of lemon, salt and the remaining 1-tablespoon olive oil.