Recipe: Paella

Seafood Paella with shrimp and clam

Paella is a classic grilled dish originating from Spain.  Paella is perfect for a barbecue because everything cooks together in one pan and absorbs the smoky flavor from the fire!


Seafood Paella Recipe:  2 medium ripe tomatoes, 16 large shrimp (peeled and deveined), 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika, freshly ground black pepper, 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces, 8 ounces Spanish chorizo, cut into ¼ inch-thick rounds, 1 to 2 tablespoons, olive oil, as needed, 1 medium yellow onion, small dice, 2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped, 1 large pinch saffron threads, 2 cups paella rice (about 1lb) sometimes labeled Bomb or Valencia, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning the shrimp and chicken, 4 cups (1 quart) low-sodium chicken broth, 16 mussels, Manila clams, or a combination scrubbed, 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves, 2 medium lemons, cut into 8 wedges each, for serving




1)   Remove the core and halve the tomatoes. Grate the flesh side of each half of the large holes of a box grater over a medium bowl, stopping when you get to the skin. Throw away the skins. You should have about ¾ cup of tomato pulp and juice; set aside.

2)   Season the shrimp ¼ teaspoon of paprika, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Toss to combine seasonings then refrigerate.

3)   Season chicken breast generously with salt and pepper in a medium bowl; set aside.

4)   Heat an outdoor grill high (about 450F degrees to 550F degrees) Place paella pan on grill, cover and heat until hot, about 2 minutes. Add the chorizo to the pan with the grill covered, and cook stirring occasionally until the sausage is starting to brown and the fat is rendered, about 2-3 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove chorizo and place chorizo into a large bowl; set aside.

5)   There should be a layer of rendered fat in the pan. If there’s not, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the seasoned chicken breast to the pan, single layer, close the grill, and sear, stirring occasionally, until both sides of the chicken breast is golden brown, about 6 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to the same bowl as the chorizo; set aside.

6)   Add onion to the pan, season with salt and pepper, close the grill and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes adjusting the heat as needed on a gas grill so that the onions don’t burn. Add the garlic and remaining ¾ teaspoon of paprika and saffron, stir to combine and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

7)   Add the reserved tomato pulp and juice and cook until the mixture has slightly darkened in color, scarping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan for about 3 minutes. Add the rice and measured salt and stir to in the tomato mixture.

8)   Add broth and stir to combine. Arrange the rice mixture in an even layer. Distribute the reserved chorizo and chicken over the rice adding any accumulated juices from the bowl. (Do not stir the rice from this point on)

9)   Close the grill and bringing the mixture to a lively simmer. Continue to simmer, checking occasionally, until the rice grains have swelled, most liquid has been absorbed, and the rice begins to make a crackling sound, about 12 minutes. (Rotate the grill occasionally to evenly distribute the heat.)

10)          Arrange the reserved shrimp and the shellfish (hinged-side down) in the rice, nestling them slightly. Close the grill and cook until the shellfish have opened, the shrimp are just cooked through, and the rice is tender but still al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes.

11)          Remove the pan from the grill cover with foil and let stand for 5 minutes. Before serving the paella, remove and unopened shellfish and sprinkle dish with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.

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