Taste The Mediterranean At Home

Executive Chef, Hector Mnyayiza

Photo: Executive Chef, Hector Mnyayiza.

Bring the taste of the Mediterranean home with an authentic, yet easy to prepare Paella courtesy of The Maslow Sandton’s Executive Chef Hector Mnyayiza. He says that while South Africans have to wait a while yet before they can dine out, they can make eating in an experience.

“Get that ‘eating-out’ feeling with a taste of Spain at home. I love making paella because it’s a dish full of flavor that can be made in one pan. It is also a dish that gives you the flexibility to freestyle according to your preferences,” says Chef Hector.

Photo: Paella.

Here are Chef Hector’s tips for a perfect paella:

·       Always have olive oil and chicken stock in your cupboard

·       Use risotto rice or a bowl of Spanish rice that is a short grain

·       Get your hands on a good chorizo sausage

·       If you can get yourself saffron that would be an advantage

He shares the recipe for the paella that he prepared during a live online cooking session with South African author and businesswoman Sonia Booth in April.


200g                prawns

300g                deboned chicken thighs

150g                chorizo sausage

20g                  onions

3 cups              risotto rice

1 cup               chicken stock

30g                  peas

1tsp                 salt

3tbs                 paprika

5 strands          saffron

20g                  fresh parsley, chopped

1                      lemon

1tsp                 garlic

1                      sweet red pepper

100g                blended tomatoes


1. Precook the risotto rice according to the instructions on the packet and add the saffron.

2. Pan-fry the deboned chicken thighs in olive oil and season with paprika.

3. Add sliced chorizo sausage and de-shelled prawns. Leave to cool for five minutes.

4. Add chopped red pepper and allow to simmer for five minutes.

5. Add blended tomatoes and allow to simmer for three minutes.

6. Add cooked risotto rice.

7. Add the cup of chicken stock and leave to simmer until the stock has been completely absorbed.

8. Lastly, add the peas and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.

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