Our paella

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
30 mins to 1 hour

Serves 6

From The Hairy Bikers' Comfort Food


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 chicken thighs, boned, skinned, cut in half (about 600g/1lb 5oz)
  • 150g/5oz cooking chorizo, skinned and cut into 5mm/¼in slices
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 300g/10½oz fresh large tomatoes, halved, seeds removed, flesh grated (then skin discarded)
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 1.5 litres/2½ pints hot chicken stock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 200g/7oz green beans, cut into short lengths
  • 500g/1lb 2oz paella rice
  • 1 tsp saffron threads, soaked in a little warm water
  • couple handfuls live mussels, cleaned, de-bearded and rinsed (discard any mussels that do not snap shut when tapped)
  • 12 raw king prawns
  • lemon wedges, to serve
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a 36cm/14in paella pan or a very large frying pan set over a medium heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and freshly ground black pepper and fry for five minutes, turning regularly until lightly coloured. Add the chorizo and cook for a further minute.

  2. Add the garlic and cook for a further couple of minutes, then push everything to one side. Add the tomatoes and fry for a few minutes, then mix everything together and sprinkle in the paprika and lemon zest. Pour in all but a large ladleful of the chicken stock and return to the boil. Add the bay leaves, thyme and green beans and season with a little salt.

  3. When the chicken stock has returned to the boil, turn down to a simmer and sprinkle in the rice, trying to get it into as even a layer as possible. Pour in the saffron and stir – this is the only time you should stir your paella once the rice has been added! Bring to the boil again, then simmer for 5 minutes.

  4. Turn the heat down and leave the rice to simmer slowly – this should take between 12–15 minutes. If it is getting dry, taste – if still a little too firm (crunchy), add a little more stock. When you are satisfied the rice is al dente, arrange the mussels and prawns over the paella. Cover with a damp teacloth or a lid if you have one and wait for the mussels to steam open and the prawns to turn pink. Serve with lemon wedges.

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