Paella – The Undisputed Champion of One Pan Dishes

The experience of being in Spain, above all, inspired my love of food.

Absolute Foody

I have always been a fan of Spanish cuisine, the staple dishes of which are often built upon good, simple ingredients; but also scalability. The pressing need to feed a large family with what’s in the cupboard, is essentially the basis behind Paella, and many other Mediterranean masterpieces.

When I was in university, I was privileged to have spent a couple of summers in Spain. Living with a family where quality time together, was as highly valued as quality food. I would spend weeks with them and scarcely ate the same meal twice. Food preparation was effortless as magical scents permeated the house. Spending warm summers evenings dining outside is something I want to pass to my family, not just as a lifestyle but as a way of us spending quality time together.

I love the idea of dishes like Paella, one simmering pan feeding a family or group of friends. Served with Some crusty bread and some good wine. What could be better on a summers evening.

The colours and scents of a dish of simmering Paella is such a treat to the senses

This experience of being in Spain, above all, inspired my love of food. In tribute to Francesca (or Pacqui), this dish is my take on Paella – not made with specific scientific measurements, or fancy gadgets, but made with heart and soul…enjoy.

To view this recipe being made, please check out our vlog – Paella Francesca (Serves 4)


2 x Tablespoons of Olive Oil

3 x Small Onions Chopped

8 x Large Prawns (shells on)

Parsley (good hand full)

Chorizo (400g)

Paella Rice (300g) or Risotto Rice

2 x Tablespoons (level) of Smoked Paprika

1 x Saffron (I normally use a whole container)

Chicken Stock (900ml)

1 x Red Pepper

2 x Chicken Breasts

1 x Lemon (Quarter to Serve)

Seafood Mix (400g)

Green Beans, Or Peas (300g)

The Method

Add the oil to a large pan and bring to a medium heat. Dice the chicken, garlic and onions and slice the chorizo. Add to the heat and closely fry to soften and reduce the onions and garlic. You should see the chorizo begin to sizzle lightly and the chicken.

Then dice the red pepper and roughly chop the parsley adding to the pan with the green beans. I find this mix balances the sharpness of the chorizo and helps set of a colourful mix; pleasing to all the senses.

Gently fry the mix while making the chicken stock and add the saffron to the stock and allow to infuse while you add the rice to the pan and mix well with the other ingredients. Add the seafood mix but not the prawns.

Add 3/4 of the stock to the pan and again mix well. The aim here is to create a velvety thick sauce while cooking the rice and ensuring the meat is cooked perfectly and retains moisture. When the sauce is beginning to run dry add more of the stock until the rice is cooked. Then add the prawns and cook until pink.

Then you are ready to serve with a sprig of any leftover parsley and a couple of lemon quarters. The rule I was taught is to squeeze the first quarter lemon over the first half and the 2nd quarter lemon over the 2nd half. Adding the citrus to the meal makes the flavours come alive beautifully.

We had this with an ice cold beer and rustic Garlic bread.

Me Gusto Mucho

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