Paella Magnifica

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30th May 2020

One of our dearest friends Becci, now Godmother to our eldest child, is a wonderful

Paella Magnifica

One of our dearest friends Becci, now Godmother to our eldest child, is a wonderful supper guest. She is always full of tales of adventures, plans for the future and is very generous with giving wine.

dinner party

When we moved into our first home in Islington the first person we invited was Becci and was on the menu. The flowed and the cooking took a lot longer than expected (due to the mis-reading of the recipe)! Mid cooking we all had to nip to The Crown next door as the dish required a measure of sambucca. We couldn’t miss the opportunity to partake in a quick drink whilst we were there, or was it two? By the end of the evening we were full of food and wine, high on life and ready for bed. Becci however was due to be at a club to see a DJ she was working with and we were amazed that she had the stamina to carry on. Twelve years later we both are lucky enough to have families and we always say that Becci is far better equipped to handle the sleepless nights as she always carried on into the wee small hours, whilst we hit the sack early!

The paella is now one of our go to meals when we have friends to stay as it is an excuse for a shot of sambucca and it tastes delicious.


  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 1 Sprig thyme
  • 1/4 tsp Ground coriander
  • 1/2 tbsp White wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 600g Chicken thighs (bone and skin on)
  • 60g Unsmoked streaky bacon
  • 175g Fresh prawns
  • 175g Fresh sea scallops
  • 1 Chorizo ring
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 200g Chopped tomatoes & juice
  • 100ml White wine
  • 1 ping Chicken stock
  • 250g Paella
  • 400g Artichoke hearts
  • 4 tbsp Fresh peas
  • 10 Mussels
  • 60g Pimentos
  • 15g Fresh parsley
  • Lemon for garnish

london borough market paella for sharing


  • Crush the garlic, add the thyme leaves and coriander along with some salt into a bowl.
  • Pour in the white wine vinegar an olive oil, and pop the chicken in to marinate for 30 minutes.
  • Sauté the chopped streaky bacon until the fat becomes crispy & brown. Set these aside.
  • Fry the prawns (no need to wash the pan) and set aside. Do the same with the scallops. Tip: don’t stack the scallops because they might come off with a brown tinge…if it happens don’t worry they are still yummy!
  • Slice the chorizo and repeat the last step.
  • Brown the chicken in the fat in the pan, until the skin has colour.
  • Finely chop the onion, sauté and add the capers and tomatoes around the chicken.
  • Return the pork and chorizo bits to the pan. Pour in the wine and the chicken stocks.
  • Add the rice, artichoke, peas and pimentos. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Steam the mussels until they open (approx. 4-5 minutes). Discard any that don’t open after 8 minutes.
  • Strain the mussel cooking liquid and taste – it should taste briny / of the sea.
  • Back to the paella, check the level of liquid. Pour in the mussel cooking liquid.
  • Sprinkle over the seafood bits, and a measure of Sambuca
  • Cover again and gently simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Wash and chop the parsley, cut the lemon into wedges. Spoon the paella onto plates and ENJOY

We were inspired by The Borough Market Cookbook Meat & Fish, by Sarah Freeman