About this recipe:For me, paella is possibly the best dish in the world. I think that this, my take, is close to that. Absolutely fabulous with a heavenly array of differing but complementary flavours, it is well worth the effort to make at any time. Will grace any table or occasion.
260g (9 oz) mussels
260g (9 oz) clams
300g (10 oz) raw prawns
300ml (1/2 pt) dry white wine
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1.25L (2 pt) chicken stock
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 or 6 chicken thighs or drumsticks
180g (6 oz) chorizo sausage, sliced in 5mm slices
60g (2 oz) butter
1 large red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
300g (10 oz) paella or risotto rice
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
3 fresh vine or plum tomatoes - peeled, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste
2 teaspoons coarse cooking salt
180g (6 oz) green beans, chopped
60g (2 oz) frozen peas, defrosted
180g (6 oz) scallops (optional)
1 handful chopped fresh parsley
lemon wedges to serve
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Clean the mussels, removing any dirt, barnacles and the beard. Discard any open or damaged. Place in a bowl, cover with water and soak for an hour or two. Change water during process.
Rinse clams in cold water, place in large bowl, sprinkle with the coarse cooking salt, cover with water and soak for about 1 1/2 hours; rinse and drain.
Shell and devein the prawns with or without tails intact.
Combine wine and saffron in a jug; leave to stand and intermingle for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare chicken stock, bring to boil and keep hot on separate ring on cooker.
Cook the paella:
Heat oil in large pan, add chicken and cook on medium-low heat until browned and tender; remove from pan, drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
Add chorizo to same pan and cook, stirring frequently, until browned; remove from pan, drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
Add butter to same pan, melt, lower heat, add onion and garlic and cook gently, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or so until soft.
Add rice, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or so or until begins to pop, then add peppers and wine-saffron mixture, again stirring constantly to keep rice grains separate, until wine is absorbed.
Add chopped tomatoes, lemon juice, salt, a ladleful stock and continue stirring frequently, to ensure rice grains remain separate, until stock is almost absorbed. Continue adding measures of stock, stirring frequently, until absorbed for about 15 to 20 minutes or so until rice is almost tender.
Add mussels, prawns, clams, chorizo and green beans on top of rice mixture, cover, and simmer for some 5 minutes.
Add chicken, peas and scallops (if using) and continue to simmer covered another 10 minutes or so until clams and mussels have open and scallops are just cooked through.
Stand covered for 5 minutes or so, garnish with parsley, and serve, removing any unopened mussels and clams.
Can vary vegetables to your own taste. Serve with crusty bread and lemon wedges.