Spicy Paella

Pete Luckett's famed Spanish rice dish is studded with fresh fish and chicken, and flecked with auburn-hued saffron strands
By Pete Luckett
Spicy Paella
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8-10
  • Cook Time: 1.3333333333333333 hours 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 1.5 litres strong chicken stock
  • 0.5 tsp strands saffron
  • 0.25 tsp paprika
  • 1 small onion

For the rice base

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 0.5 tsp sea salt
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 100 g chorizo sausages, cut in 1cm thick slices
  • 1 large pork chop, boned and meat diced
  • 100 g ham, diced, preferably prosciutto
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 2 roasted peppers
  • 500 g shrimps, small or medium, shelled
  • 2 live lobster, split and divided into tail sections and claws
  • 750 g white rice, ideally calasparra (Spanish short-grain rice)
  • 5 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 125 ml dry white wine
  • 100 g peas, fresh or frozen
  • 18 clams, or mussels, scrubbed

To serve

  • 1 lemons, cut into wedges, for garnish
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped


1. Heat the broth in a large saucepan with the saffron, paprika and onion. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

2.Cut the chicken into small bite-sized pieces and sprinkle with salt.

3. In a metal paella pan or large deep casserole pan, heat the oil and add the chicken pieces. Fry them over a high heat until golden before removing to a warm platter.

4. Add the sausage, pork, and ham to the same pan and stir-fry about 10 minutes. Add the chopped onion, spring onions, garlic and peppers and sauté until the onion is soft.

5. Add the shrimp and lobster and continue frying for about 3 minutes more, or until the shrimp and lobster turns pink. Remove the shrimp and lobster from the pan and set aside.

6. Add the rice to the pan and stir well to coat it with oil. Sprinkle in the chopped parsley and the crumbled bay leaves. Stir in the chicken broth (which should be really hot), the wine, rice, and peas. Salt to taste.

7. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, over medium-high heat about 10 minutes. Bury the shrimps and the chicken pieces into the rice and stud with the clams or mussels, pushing them into the rice, with the edge that will open facing up.

8. Place the lobster pieces over the paella, and bake at 160°C/gas 2, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave the rice to sit on top of the stove, lightly covered with foil, for about 10 minutes. Serve garnished with lemon wedges and chopped parsley.

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