Who doesn’t love Paella – Spain’s famous grilled rice dish? I’ve never really attempted making Paella at home until recently when we went to spend a weekend with friends in Connecticut. Our hosts made a simple seafood and chicken paella and I was sous-chef!
It turned out to be a really easy dish and a hit with all. You can use any ingredients that you like. I just made a chicken, chorizo and shrimp paella but you can add any seafood/ meat you wish to.
The recipe we used is adapted from Christine Gallary’s Grilled Paella Mixta on the CHOW website.
This recipe calls for cooking on a grill but I just did everything stove top.
Grilled Paella Mixta ( Seafood and Meat)
Time: 2 hrs
2 medium, ripe tomatoes
16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (pimentón dulce)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces Spanish chorizo ( or andouille sausage), 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 1 pound), sometimes labeled bomba 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 (optional)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 medium lemons, cut into 8 wedges each, for serving
• Core and half the tomatoes.
• Grate the flesh side of each half on the large holes of a box grater set over a medium bowl, stopping when you get to the skin.
• Discard the skins.
• You should have about 3/4 cup of tomato pulp and juice; set aside.
• Place the shrimp in a medium bowl, add 1/4 teaspoon of the paprika, and season with salt and pepper.
• Toss to combine and refrigerate.
• Place the chicken in a medium bowl and season generously with salt and pepper; set aside.
• Heat an outdoor grill to high (about 450°F to 550°F) or use stove.
• Place a 15-inch paella pan on the grill/ stove, cover, and heat until hot, about 2 minutes.
• Add the chorizo to the pan, close the grill, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is starting to brown and the fat is rendered, about 2 to 3 minutes.
• Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the chorizo to a large bowl; set aside.
• There should be a thin layer of rendered fat in the pan.
• If there’s not enough, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
• Add the seasoned chicken to the pan in a single layer, close the grill, and sear, stirring occasionally, until both sides of the chicken pieces are golden brown, about 6 minutes total. (You will need to rotate the pan occasionally on the grill to evenly distribute the heat.)
• Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to the bowl with the chorizo; set aside.
• Add the 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 or moving the paella pan to a cooler part of a charcoal grill so that the onions don’t burn.
• Add the garlic, remaining 3/4 teaspoon paprika, and saffron, stir to combine, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
• Add the reserved tomato pulp and juice and cook until the mixture has slightly darkened in color, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, about 3 minutes.
• Add the rice and measured salt and stir to coat in the tomato mixture.
• Add the 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.)
• Close the grill and bring the mixture to a lively simmer.
• Continue to simmer, checking occasionally, until the rice grains have swelled, most of the liquid has been absorbed, and the rice begins to make a crackling sound, about 12 minutes.
• (Make sure to rotate the pan occasionally to evenly distribute the heat, and adjust the heat as needed to maintain a lively simmer.)
• Arrange the reserved shrimp and the shellfish (hinge-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.
• Remove the pan from the grill, cover with foil, and let stand for 5 minutes. Before serving the paella, discard any unopened shellfish and sprinkle the dish with the parsley.
• Serve with the lemon wedges.