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Kicking back to celebrate the World Cup soccer this weekend? Why not enjoy a traditional Spanish dish with Aussie ingredients?

Preparation time

30 minutes


Cooking time

1 hour and 20 minutes (plus soaking and steaming)




1 chicken (about 1.2kg)

5 ripe vine-ripened tomatoes

100 ml extra-virgin olive oil

450 gm cleaned calamari, cut into 3cm pieces

3 large onions, coarsely chopped

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Good pinch of saffron threads

4 fresh bay leaves

500 gm each red and green capsicum, diced

 135 ml fino Sherry

450 gm bomba rice (short grain rice)

750 gm mussels, scrubbed, beards removed

800 gm vongole, soaked in cold salted water for 2 hours to remove grit, drained

To serve: lemon wedges



  • Place chicken breast-side up on a board, slice down each side of the breasts, remove breasts and wings, then legs.
  • Separate breasts from wings, cut breasts into three pieces, trim excess skin (discard) and set aside. Cut wing tips from wings. Halve at the joint and set aside.
  • Cut through leg joints to separate thighs from legs, trim bony ends from drumsticks, cut each drumstick in half through the bone and set aside. Cut thighs through the bone into thirds and set aside.
  • Blanch tomatoes until skins split (30 seconds-1 minute), refresh and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, peel, remove seeds (discard), finely chop and set aside.
  • Heat 60ml oil in a 48cm-diameter paella pan (or other heavy-bottomed pan) over high heat
  • Add calamari, season to taste and stir continuously until firm and caramelised (1½-2 minutes), transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon, cover and set aside.
  • Add chicken to pan, season to taste and stir continuously until lightly browned (3-4 minutes).
  • Push the chicken to one side, reduce heat to low-medium, add onion, garlic, saffron, bay leaves and remaining oil, season with a little salt and stir continuously until onion is golden (4-5 minutes).
  • Add capsicum and cook until soft and jammy (8-10 minutes), then mix chicken in.
  • Drain all liquid from tomato and add to pan with fino sherry, increase heat to medium-high, season to taste and cook, stirring occasionally and scraping base of pan, until any liquid is reduced and mixture looks like thick and chunky jam (15-20 minutes).
  • Add 1.6 litres tap-hot water, stir to combine and bring to the simmer.
  • Return calamari to pan and cook for 10 minutes, sprinkle in rice and stir through evenly.
  • Continue cooking until rice starts to show, adding mussels and vongole after 12 minutes
  • Cook for a further 15-20 minutes; do not stir again.
  • Remove from heat, cover with 2 tea towels and set aside to steam (15 minutes).
  • Serve hot with lemon wedges.