Sunday, 27 November 2016


I hesitate to call this recipe 'paella' after Jamie Oliver got so much stick about the paella recipe that he tweeted recently (a lot of which seemed to concern his inclusion of chorizo). However, since 'rice with whatever' isn't a particularly catchy recipe title, I hope that calling it 'paella-style rice' will be acceptable to any Spanish readers. I've been lucky enough to visit Spain a few times (I've even eaten paella there!) but I shan't pretend that I know much about traditional paella. I've flagrantly disregarded most of the few rules that I do know about paella-making (i.e. that you should use Spanish rice; that, unlike risotto, you mustn't stir the rice while it's cooking; and that paella shouldn't contain chorizo) so I won't make any claims on the authenticity of this recipe. If anything, I'd say it's a British take on paella. Which is fine by me as it's pretty tasty, if I do say so myself!

While I'm being honest, I'll admit that this isn't a meal I'd give my kids at the moment. I hope it will be something they'll eat when they're a bit older, but they're currently going through a no-mixed-foods phase and my 5-year-old doesn't even like the different foods touching each other on the plate!

  • I've used turmeric in place of the more traditional saffron simply because of the price. If you prefer to use saffron, soak the strands in a little of the stock and add along with the stock and passata.
  • This dish can be reheated successfully the following day but do make sure that you cool down the leftovers as quickly as possible and promptly transfer them to the fridge, then reheat until piping hot all the way through. 

Paella-style rice

Serves 2 adults

½ tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
70g diced chorizo
175g chicken breast, cut into chunks
100g basmati rice
½ tbsp ground turmeric
½ tbsp smoked paprika
½ red pepper, deseeded and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
200g passata
200ml chicken stock
150g cooked king prawns, defrosted if necessary
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
120g frozen peas
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a low-medium heat and cook the onions gently for 5 minutes. Add the chorizo and cook for a further 2 minutes, then add the chicken, increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes, until sealed all over.

Add the rice, turmeric and paprika and stir until all the ingredients are coated in the spices. Stir in the red pepper, garlic, passata and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 12 minutes, without lifting the lid.

Remove the lid and stir in the prawns, parsley, peas and chilli. Continue to cook over a low heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the prawns and peas are piping hot.

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