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    paella rice recipe, How to make prawn paella Paella Recipes, Recipes 5 1 5 0

    Paella Rice with Carabinero Prawns

    • Serves 4 people
    • Complexity Easy
    Prep time
    20 mins
    Cook time
    50 mins
    Total time
    1h 10 mins
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    • For the prawn stock:
    • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
    • Head and shells of the carabinero prawns
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 1 leek, finely sliced
    • 1 celery stalk, finely sliced
    • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
    • 1 garlic head, cut in two
    • 100ml dry white wine
    • 100ml brandy
    • 3 beef tomatoes, chopped roughly
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 3 sprigs of thyme
    • 3 sprigs of parsley
    • 1 star anise
    • 1.5 litres of fresh water
    • Salt
    • For the paella rice:
    • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
    • 12 carabinero prawn tails peeled and deveined, plus 4 heads to flavour the rice
    • 100g squid or cuttlefish, white part only, cleaned and cut into ½ cm dice
    • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
    • 200g bomba rice
    • 1 teaspoon of Spanish sweet smoked paprika
    • 1 dried ñora pepper, stalk and seeds removed
    • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
    • 1 large beef tomato, halved and grated, skin discarded
    • 600ml carabinero prawn stock
    • Salt
    • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


    Prawns go incredibly well with paella rice, their sweet yet robust flavour pairs incredibly well with the aromatic flavour of saffron and the smokey notes of Spanish paprika. What is the secret to a tasty paella? A good quality stock made from the prawn heads and shells which will transfer the rich prawn flavour to the rice. Paella dishes are in essence flavoured rice, so ensuring that you have a good quality stock is essential. In this dish, I use carabinero prawns, one of the most sought after prawns in professional kitchens worldwide. Beautiful carabineros are a large deep-sea prawn species that hail from the Eastern Atlantic into the Mediterranean sea. Known by a plethora of names, to the Spanish and Portuguese as Carabineros, to the English as Scarlet Shrimp or Cardinal Prawns, and to the French as the Crevette Imperiale, they are renowned for their jumbo size and striking bright red colour. Carabinero translates literally as police, reputedly because the colour of their shells matched the uniforms of Spanish customs police. Yet, their distinct red colour does not change when cooked, as does a lobster shell from blue to red when boiled. More distinct and robust in flavour than other shrimps or langoustines, they are also appreciated for their large size. While their meat is mainly concentrated in the tail, their cephalothoraxes (head and body) are not to be overlooked, and are excellent for making clear and creamed soups and sauces to which it adds flavour and red colour. None of this prawn should go to waste, as Spanish consider the flavour of their heads as a delicacy.


    1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Roast the prawn shells in the oven for 15 minutes and set aside.
    2. To make the stock, heat the olive oil in a large stock pot pan over a low heat. Add the onion, leek, celery, carrots and garlic and gently sauté for about 10 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the bay leaf, thyme and parsley and stir well for a couple of minutes until the herbs are soft, add the roasted prawn shells and cook for a couple of minutes. Increase the heat and pour in the brandy and flambé making sure you scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan, reducing the brandy by half. Pour in the white wine and reduce by half again. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, followed by the water and star anise. Bring the stock to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Allow the stock to cool slightly and transfer the contents to a food processor or blender. Carefully blend until smooth. Season with salt and add a pinch of sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve to get rid of any prawn shell fragments. Return the stock to a clean pan and place back on a high heat. Bring the stock to the boil and reduce the liquid by half or about 600ml so you concentrate the flavours more.
    3. Before you make the paella, soak the ñora pepper in cold water overnight.
    4. The next day, drain the pepper and scrape the flesh out, discard the skins and set the flesh aside.
    5. To prepare the saffron, lightly toast the threads on a low heat in a dry pan for a couple of minutes. Transfer the threads into a pestle and mortar and lightly crush them. Pour 4 tablespoons of the hot stock and cover to infuse while you make the paella rice.
    6. To make the paella rice, use a 34cm paella pan suitable to use on the stove and in the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2.
    7. Heat the oil in the paella pan over a moderate heat. Add the carabinero prawn tails and fry for 2 minutes without fully cooking them, set aside. Add the chopped squid and prawn heads and fry for 3 minutes, stirring well. Move the squid and heads to one side of the pan and reduce the heat. Add the chopped garlic and cook for a minute or so without burning it. Add the rice into the centre of the pan and cook over a low heat for a few minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon until translucent. Add the ñora pepper puree and grated tomato and stir well until the mixture is thick. Add the smoked paprika, stir and cook over a moderate heat for a few seconds, taking care it doesn’t burn. Once it is all well mixed, pour in the very hot prawn stock and deglaze the pan, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the saffron infused stock and a little salt. Spread the rice out evenly to cover the bottom of the paella pan. Bring to the boil and if you have a timer, set it for 17 minutes.
    8. Cook for 5 minutes on a moderate heat until the rice rises to the surface of the liquid. Check the stock for seasoning and add some more salt if necessary.
    9. Spread the rice again and cook in a pre-heated oven for 12 minutes.
    10. Remove the paella from the oven, cover with a kitchen towel and rest for 2 minutes. Serve immediately with some fresh lemon wedges.

    Shop Ingredients

    Vaello Polished Steel Paella Pan 38cm


    Vaello Polished Steel Paella Pan 30cm


    Carabinero Prawns 15/20


    Catala Paella Rice 1kg


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