Ben's BBQ Bible
Billy Law

Paella is Spain’s national dish, and there are as many variations as there are for Italy’s risotto. Paella is a celebration of ingredients from the land and the sea, but common to all varieties is saffron, with its beautiful aroma and striking colour.

The reason I have included this recipe here is because the best paellas are cooked in huge pans over the glowing embers of a fire. Excellent results can also be achieved with a good gas or kettle barbecue.


Quantity Ingredient
good pinch saffron
175ml white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 chicken thighs, boned and diced
150g chorizo picante, sliced
1 onion, finely diced
100g celery, finely diced
1 dried chilli, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced
12 baby octopus, cleaned and washed
250g paella rice
1 litre chicken stock
150g broad beans, podded
250g raw prawns, unpeeled
12 black mussels
12 vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, lightly roasted
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf or curly parsley
2 lemons, halved


  1. Steep the saffron in the wine for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan or paella dish and sauté the chicken and chorizo until nicely coloured.
  3. Add the onion, celery, dried chilli and garlic, and fry for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the octopus, then sprinkle the rice over.
  5. Pour the saffron-infused wine over the rice and allow to evaporate. Add the stock and shake the pan to disperse the ingredients.
  6. Add the broad beans, prawns and mussels, and simmer for 15 minutes, shaking the pan every so often but not stirring. If the rice is just tender and the liquid has been absorbed, the paella is ready. If it is a little wet and the rice is still al dente, cook for a further 5 minutes.
  7. Just before you remove the paella from the heat, add the tomatoes and stir them into therice, turning everything over to plump it up.
  8. To serve, season to taste and garnish with the parsley and lemon halves.
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