Paella Party

At various times of the year, mostly around the holidays, the number of guests we accommodate seems to grow.

We want to make something delicious but not spend the whole day (or even a couple of days!) cooking. The solution is a one-pan dish that can be cooked outside on a braai and feeds a bunch of hungry people. Cooking for a crowd takes some planning, but with this tasty, luxurious dish you can feed them all with only a little prep.


  • 24 chicken wings
  • 2 chorizo sausages
  • 500g clams in their shells
  • 1kg prawns, shelled tails on
  • 500g mussels, in their shells, cleaned and scrubbed
  • 2 red onions
  • 2 red peppers
  • 8 tomatoes
  • 6 cups Arborio rice
  • 2½ cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 3 cups dry white wine
  • Olive oil


Prepare all of the ingredients in advance and keep them refrigerated until ready to cook. Chop the small wings off the chicken wings and use them for stock. Cut the chorizo into slices. Chop the red onions, peppers and skinned tomatoes (skin the tomatoes by placing in boiling water for a few minutes). Have everything ready in bowls to go into the paella pan. Soak the saffron in the wine and set aside until ready to cook.

We used a kettle braai and a large paella pan on coals that had burned for at least half an hour. Once the coals are ready, set the paella pan on the fi re. Add a little olive oil to the pan and heat. Cook the chicken wings first – once cooked through, remove and set aside. Next add the chorizo, cook until browned and set aside with the chicken. Add the onions and peppers to the pan and cook for a few minutes. Add the rice and stir. Add the tomatoes and then slowly add the saffron/wine mixture and the stock, a cup at a time. Continue to cook and add stock, stirring occasionally until the rice is just al dente and the stock is used up. The mixture should be fairly dry. Season with salt and pepper then top the rice with the cooked chicken wings, chorizo, clams, mussels, prawns and peas. Cover the whole pan in aluminium foil and steam the seafood for 10 minutes. The bottom of the dish will form a delicious crunchy rice. Once cooked, stir all the top ingredients into the rice and serve. To make an extra special sauce that can be served with the paella mix together 4 cloves garlic, the juice of 3 lemons and 500ml cream in a saucepan and heat. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Serves 16-20.

The Gardener