Paella with Wild Rice, Seafood and Cornish Hen

Easy, Moderate, Complex

Yield: 2 hefty servings (with leftovers)


  • 2 red bell peppers, roasted and skinned
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Cornish Game Hen, carcass removed, sectioned
  • ½ chorizo sausage (or other spicy sausage), sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric  (10 g)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (5 g)
  • 2 cups wild rice (soaked in 4 cups water 2 hours, then strained) (500 g)
  • 4 cups chicken stock (1 Liter)
  • A good pinch saffron
  • 4 Rock Tiger Shrimp, heads on
  • 3 – 4 large squid, cleaned
  • ½ pound mussels, scrubbed (250 g)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas (250 g)


  1. Soak wild rice in cold water for at least 2  hours. It will absorb some of the water and puff up a little bit.
  2. Place red bell peppers directly onto the fire on your gas stove. Or place directly onto your electric burner. Char well for over 15 minutes on all sides. You are looking for a very black exterior.
  3. Pop peppers into a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap to sweat. In 10 minutes you can peel off the skin.  If you want you can do this under running cold water which makes it a little easier. Cut in wide slices and set aside.
  4. Peel and finely dice onions.
  5. Slice your sausage into ½ inch pieces. (1.25 cm)
  6. Remove the carcass from your hen beginning at top of bird along either side of breast bone. Using a sharp knife, work your way down each side of carcass trying to remove as much meat from bone as possible, to make 2 halves. Leave in leg and wing bones, but discard carcass (or save for stock). Then cut the leg and wing pieces off from the breast pieces.
  7. Start by holding the shrimp, backside up, and run your knife down the length of  its’ spine. This will expose the vein. To remove the vein you can use your finger, or the tip of your knife to pull it out of the shrimp. 
  8. Scrub your mussels removing any sand and seaweed bits. If mussels are open, test them by pressing the two shells together. If they start to close, then they are still alive and safe to use. If not, discard them.
  9. Clean squid: Grab the head, while holding the end and PULL. Most of the guts will come out in one neat pile.You need to remove the transparent spine (or quill) by running a finger along the inside of the mantle holding it by the tip and pulling. Check the base in case there is a bit of spine left and that can be removed as well. Remove the wings by pulling off and then peel the rest of the skin off, which should come off in one piece.Slice the squid body open, score it on the diagonal (making a shallow incision but not cutting all the way through). Then cut this squid piece into flat triangles  or if you prefer simply cut the squid body into rings.
  10. In a large skillet turn a large pan on high and drizzle in your oil. 
  11. Add hen pieces and sear and brown on all sides for about 8-10 minutes. Take them out of the pan and set aside.
  12. Add chorizo or other sausage to the pan. Stir till browned about 3 – 4 minutes.
  13. Leave there. In the same pan continue to build the dish by adding onions and saute until golden.
  14. Add your turmeric & smoked paprika and then add garlic.
  15. Add wild rice and stir to coat with all the flavours and allow the grains to toast slightly.
  16. Return the seared hen pieces  to the pan. Add your warm chicken stock to which you have added the saffron. Reserve about a cup of stock for later.
  17. Cover with a lid or tin foil and let cook about 40 minutes. 
  18. Finish by adding the seafood (shrimps, mussels, squid), a last cup of stock just before the last 10 minutes.  Just before serving, add peas and reserved red peppers. Cover for a minute and the residual heat will warm both.
  19. Ladle up into two personal paella pans.