Wild Earth Paella

10:20 pm on 20 April 2009

Preparation and cooking time about 2 to 2 ½ hours

Serves 4


  • 1 Spanish onion
  • 1 capsicum
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbl paprika
  • 1 Tbl fresh thyme, chopped
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 4 venison, duck or game sausage, or a combination of
  • 2 Tbl olive oil
  • 6 slices of smoked streaky bacon, roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups of good chicken stock (see recipe)
  • 100ml of Pinot Noir
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 cups of aborio rice, washed
  • squeeze of ½ of lemon and a splash of red wine
  • 4 Tbl crème fraise and chives for garnish


Pre-heat oven to 180°C.

Cut onion, capsicum and tomatoes in half, deseeding capsicum and tomatoes. Place in baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and roast in oven for 30 minutes.

Toast cumin and coriander seeds in dry fry pan till fragrant, then grind to a powder in a pestle and mortar.

Lightly salt the chicken and marinate in 2 tablespoons of olive oil with half the coriander, cumin, thyme and 1 tsp of the paprika. Cut the sausage into 2.5cm pieces and set aside.

Take veggies out of the oven and roughly chop when cool. Set aside.

Meanwhile place marinated chicken in a roasting pan and roast for 30 to 40 minutes.

Heat the chicken stock in a saucepan and just leave to simmer very quietly. (You’ll need this to be hot to go into the paella, little by little, later on).

In a paella pan, or a wide base fry pan sauté bacon in 2 tablespoons olive oil until brown. Add roasted vegetables, chopped chilli, a pinch of salt and the rest of the thyme. Reduce until vegetables are caramelised, about 10 minutes. Then add the remaining spices, including turmeric, and the sausages to the vegetable mix.

Add the washed rice and cook until rice starts to brown, stir constantly. You may need a bit more oil.

Pour red wine into the vegetable roasting pan and heat over burner to deglaze the pan, then quickly add this liquid to the rice. Cook until the wine is absorbed. Then add the warmed chicken stock 1 cup at a time. Each time, cook until all stock is absorbed. Gradually add the salt to taste as you add the stock. You must stir the paella constantly.

Taste the rice and when getting toward the end add the final stock and stop stirring. Allow the rice to crust up on the bottom of the pan. Turn over with a spatula and allow to crust up again. Add a splash of red wine to rice and a squeeze of lemon. The wine will really finish it off.

When rice is cooked remove from the burner. Take roasted chicken out of the oven. Arrange 4 plates on counter. Scoop about a cup or so of the paella onto each plate. Place a chicken thigh on top of the rice and garnish with a tablespoon of crème fraise and chives on top.

John Hawkesby’s wine suggestion

Pinot Noir
Wild Earth 2007
Terrace Edge 2006

Matariki Cabernet/Sauvignon/Merlot 2007

From Nine To Noon

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