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Festive Feasting – Fool-proof Paella

December 7, 2015

fool-proof paella

*** This is a sponsored post proudly brought to you by Steggles. They’re stegglers for quality, and I’m obviously quality so the rest is history.***

Christmas isn’t just about eating on Christmas day, there seems to be endless rounds of hanging out and catching up with friends… Large amounts of cook, clean, eat. Repeat.

It’s a super fun time of year, and a great time to expand your cooking repertoire.

I reckon paella is a mega festive meal. Not is you’re Spanish, I guess when it’s just peasant rice, but for the rest of us it’s kind FAN-cy.

I’ve endeavoured to make paella with varied success in the past but this is a fool-proof paella. Well, it worked for me and I am questionable in the foolish department but you get the drift.

When Steggles asked me to create three festive feasts for you guys to enjoy this Christmas, paella was the first thing off my tongue….. maybe I just needed an excuse to cook it.

Now, the first thing we need to discuss is how to pronounce it. I have often heard it called pay-ella. This is bad, ok?

Half of Spain pronounces it pie-aya, and the other half call it pie-azja, so you can get away with either and sound local (unless you’ve had 500 sangrias and you sound like a total tourist no matter what to you say.)

Now that we have that small matter down, let’s talk about what goes in it.

fool-proof paella

Traditionally, it is a peasant meal and there is no seafood. I have no idea where the seafood idea came from, but I must admit I applaud the bright sod who hatched that genius plan because pie-aya LOVES seafood.

With this recipe, I split the difference and went a little bit surf, and a little bit turf….well, sort of turf. More like fowl.

Instead of chorizo I made tasty little turkey balls and mixed it with some chicken thighs and prawns. Chuck in some peas and roasted capsicum and you’re away!

I happen to have a paella pan that has been sitting int he cupboard gathering rust for about 500 years so I dusted that bad boy off (with steel wool and epic elbow grease) and cooked on my long gas hob in the middle of my stove top. You can use a fry-pan easily but you need good even heat.

A cracking paella must have crusty bottom. There are not many times in life where a crusty bottom is preferable, but this is one. The official name for said bottom is socarrat, and the key to getting it  – DO NOT TOUCH YOUR PAELLA.

Do not stir, do not poke too much, do shimmy too much.

Follow this and you should be laughing.

fool-proof paella


Serves 4

What you will need: 

Turkey balls-

  • 250g Steggles turkey mince
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smokey paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced

For the paella – 

  • 2 chicken thighs, chopped
  • large pinch of saffron
  • 175ml white wine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 250g paella rice, or arborio, or short grain
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 150g frozen peas
  • 12 raw prawns, unpeeled
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 roast capsicum, sliced
  • a small handful chopped parsley
  • 2 lemons, halved

fool-proof paella

What you will need to do : 

Throw your garlic and spices into your turkey mince and roll little balls out of teaspoon sized slabs.

Steep the saffron in the wine for at least 10 minutes, feel free to have a glass yourself while you wait.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan or paella dish and sauté the t until turkey balls and chicken thighs until they’re all nicely browned off. Add your onion and garlic to pan, and shuffle it all around until translucent and aromatic.

Sprinkle your rice over the lot and the  tip the saffron-infused wine over the rice and allow to evaporate. Add the stock and give the pan a good shimmy.

Dot the prawns and tomatoes around evenly, kind of submerging them a bit, then simmer for 25 minutes, shaking the pan every so often but never stirring. I spun the pan around to ensure the heat was even on both sides but DO NOT STIR.

Toss your peas on the top and give a little minute to defrost.

If it is still moist, and your rice is al dente, leave for another 5 or so minutes until it has evaporated and you can hear a little bit of crackling in the bottom of the pan.

To serve, season to taste and garnish with the parsley and lemon halves, and be sure to give everything a good squeeze of that bad boy.


fool-proof paella


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  • Reply Sonia from Sonia Styling December 7, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    YUM! We were recently in Spain and got to experience authentic paella – socarrat and all. So. Good! Love the sound of the turkey balls. They’d be great to serve with salad for an easy and healthy midweek lunch.

  • Reply Gloria Hill December 7, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    It’s like you KNEW it’s my birthday today, to gift me with this awesome recipe. Can’t wait to cook it!!!

  • Reply Momma G December 7, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    It’s like you KNEW it’s my birthday today, to gift me with this awesome recipe. Can’t wait to cook it!!!

  • Reply REHEARSAL magazine December 11, 2015 at 4:07 am

    can’t wait to try this recipe!! m x

    • Reply Danielle December 11, 2015 at 2:56 pm


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