Shellfish paella

Who doesn’t love Paella, it immediately reminds me of sunny Spanish days or indeed rainy days like today in Ireland during the Covid 29 lockdown. We were due to fly to Majorca yesterday but thar wasn’t meant to be so instead I decided to bring a little Spain to our dinner table.
It’s a dish I was half reared on given my Mother’s love of this smokey rice dish and one my own kids now jump with joy for when they see me take my paella dish out.
It’s such a versatile dish, can be vegetarian, made with fish, chicken, ham and our personal favourite which bursts with shellfish. Whatever you choose you can find the key ingredients here in my recipe below.


Paella rice – 450 grams will feed a family of four for two nights so half this if you want it for one night only

1.5 litres of chicken stock

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

2 medium onions

3  to 4 garlic cloves

2 lemons

Peas are optional and I leave them out as no-one likes them in my house

Saffron ( 4 to 5 strands)

Paprika – 2 teaspoons

Cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon

Mixed herbs 1 teaspoon

Calamari (about 20 rings cost approx €3.50 from the fishmongers in Supervalu)

Mussels 1 pack – buy ones that haven’t been cooked in garlic butter /wine. I buy fresh from the counter and cook in some chicken stock until the shells have opened ( approx 8 to 10 minutes ) Never use mussel shells which haven’t opened . A large portion should only cost approximately three Euro from the fishmongers counter.

Crab claws

Prawns -I cook these separate in a little garlic and lemon

1 spicy chorizo sausage


With one lemon use half over the pre-cooked prawns, crab claws and uncooked calamari and set aside with a small pinch of the herbs to marinade whilst the rice cooks.

Chop you onion finely  and peppers into strips and fry in a hot paella pan or heavy based frying pan until soft.

On the same pan add your chopped chorizo and cook until done, remove the chorizo from the pan and remain cooking your veg in the remaining oil.

Add your minced garlic and cook for one further minute.

Add your rice and mix it through the vegetables until it is all fully coated in the rice and then add your tinned tomatoes. Squeeze the other half of the lemon in at this point.

Now add approximately 900ml of your chicken stock along with the saffron, paprika, mixed herbs and cayenne pepper and allow it to cook for fifteen minutes or so. You want the rice to absorb the liquid and cook through so if you need to add more liquid after this time do so with the remaining stock.

Now add your calamari on top of the simmering rice and place the lid on top of the mix and allow to cook for several minutes.

Next add in your prawns , replace the lid and allow to cook for two minutes.

Place your mussels (remove some from their shells and mix right through the paella ) and place some shelled on top for presentation.

Add your crab claws and chorizo and replace the lid for another few minutes.

When its ready to serve you will still have a little liquid in the pan but the rice will be soft to the bite and ready for serving, garnish with the second lemon divided into wedges.

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