Delia Smith’s – Paella

A Delia Smith Paella Recipe, from How to Cook Book Two

*this Delia Smith Paella recipe was first published on The Life of Stuff on April 30 2013, when I wasn’t a pescatarian! It’s an old post but deserves to be re-shared because it was such a success. If you only eat fish then leave out the meat and add more prawns. And if you’re completely vegetarian or vegan then add more veggies!

Delia Smith's Paella - The Life of Stuff Recipes

Paella is a dish I love to eat out in restaurants when I’m in Spain. But up until I found this simple (but effective) recipe I had never actually cooked it at home. The recipe I decided to go with was a Delia Smith recipe taken from her website, and no, we’re not related … as far as I know. Although I hoped for her culinary skills as I started to prepare my ingredients! I have included Delia’s Paella recipe below, in full. What follows is how I got on and my verdict on the outcome. Enjoy!


Ingredients – Serves 6

  • 12 oz (350 g) Calasparra paella riceDelia Smith Paella
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 x 3 lb (1.35 kg) Traditional Free Range chicken,jointed into 8 pieces
  • 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped into chunks
  • 4 oz (110 g) Spanish chorizo sausage in a piece,skin removed and cut into ½ inch (1 cm) dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 heaped teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ level teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ level teaspoon saffron strands (½ x 0.4 g sachet)
  •  8 oz (225 g) ripe red tomatoes, skinned and roughly diced
  • 12 raw tiger prawns, shell on, defrosted if frozen,4 with heads, 8 without
  • 2 oz (50 g) fresh or frozen shelled peas
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to garnish
  •  salt and freshly milled black pepper

You will also need a shallow paella pan with a base diameter of 10 inches (25.5 cm),a top diameter of 13 inches (32.5 cm) and a capacity of 7 pints (4 litres).

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Two.


Once you have peeled, chopped, prepared and assembled everything, heat the oil in the pan over a fairly high heat. Now season the chicken joints, adding 4 of them to the hot oil to sauté on all sides until golden brown, then remove them to a plate and do the same with the other 4 joints.

Delia Smith Paella - The Life of Stuff - Chicken

Next add the onion, pepper and chorizo and fry these over a medium heat for 6-8 minutes, or until they’re nicely tinged brown at the edges. Now add the garlic, paprika, cayenne and saffron and cook for another minute, then return the chicken to the pan, followed by the tomatoes, plenty of seasoning and 2 pints (1.2 litres) boiling water.

Next, bring everything up to a gentle simmer, turn the heat down and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. After that, remove the chicken pieces and set them aside, then pour the rice into the centre of the pan. Bring everything back up to the boil, give a final stir and simmer, still uncovered, for about 10 minutes. During that time, shake the pan occasionally and move it around on the hob a little if the hob plate is not as big as the base of the pan.

Delia Smith Paella Recipe - The Life of Stuff - Prawns

Next, return the chicken, along with the prawns and peas, to the pan and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked, adding a little more hot liquid if you think it’s necessary. Now shake the pan again, making sure the rice is completely immersed. Turn the prawns over halfway through the cooking time – they will turn pink when cooked. The rice at the edges of the pan will take longest to cook, so to test that the paella is ready, take a little of the rice from the edges and check it’s cooked through, then remove the pan from the heat and cover with a clean tea cloth for 5 minutes to absorb some of the steam. The paella is now ready – just garnish with the lemon wedges and don’t forget to have hot plates ready to serve it on.


The preparation and meat cooking:

Paella Part 1

Adding the rice.

Paella Part 2

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Delia Smith Paella Recipe - Step by Step - The Life of Stuff

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  1. Looks and sounds fab I have never cooked with prawns though I love them Always wary of them ! Might try this if I can pluck up the courage .

  2. Thanks Louisa … It was delicious! You should definitely try it out. Just follow the recipe and take your time. With regard to the prawns … you’ll notice they turn colour as they cook so you shouldn’t have a problem there! Happy Cooking!

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