Acclaimed Australian painter, John Olsen, has cooked and painted an astonishing variety of paellas over the past 60 years, a dish which has found its way into over 25 of his paintings. Read my story about his passion for cooking and painting this colourful Spanish dish here.
- Prep Time : 30 minutes
- Cook Time : 40 minutes
- Yield : 10
- olive oil - 125ml (1/2 cup)
- chicken breast - 1 kg, diced (rabbit, pork or fish can be substituted)
- chorizo - 2 small sausages, chopped
- squid - 2 whole, cleaned and sliced
- onions - 2, finely chopped
- garlic - 4 cloves, finely chopped
- red capsicum (sweet red pepper) - 1, chopped
- green capsicum (sweet green pepper) - 1, chopped
- mixed dried herbs - a pinch
- smoked paprika - 2 teaspoons
- ripe tomatoes - 200g, peeled, seeded and chopped
- short grain rice - 4 cups
- chicken stock - 1 -1.5 litres, more if required (boiling)
- saffron threads - 1 small packet, steeped in hot water (saffron colouring can be substituted)
- salt and freshly cracked pepper
- green prawns - 500g head & tail retained, slit down back and intestine removed
- fresh peas - 1 cup, shelled
- black lip mussels - 20, well scrubbed, beards removed
- crab - 1, or small crayfish, chopped into sections (shell on) or 20 pipis (optional)
- extra chopped capsicum (sweet peppers)
- lemons - 2, cut into wedges
- continental parsley - 1 bunch, chopped
Heat oil in a large paella or frying pan and fry the chicken, chorizo and squid until golden. Remove. Add onions, garlic, capsicums and dried herbs and cook until onions have softened.
Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 -10 minutes. Add rice and stir well to combine. Add the boiling stock, the saffron with its water and the paprika. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread rice evenly over the edges of the pan and simmer gently over medium heat.
After about ten minutes, add the peas and start decorating the paella - add the prawns in a decorative fashion. After a further five minutes, ensuring there is still ample liquid (quantity of stock is difficult to specify and may need a little practice), add mussels and crab/crayfish (or pipis).
Return chicken, sausage and squid to the pan, placing them in the rice in an eye-catching pattern.
Continue cooking over medium heat until seafood is cooked and rice is tender but still firm and has absorbed the stock, about 20 minutes - avoid over-cooking.
If rice seems dry or is uncooked, add more hot stock. Garnish with parsley, extra fresh capsicum and lemon wedges.
Serve with a crisp green salad.