YUMMY SPANISH PAELLA – WOW! LOL, that conjures up all kinds of imagery in my head. Paella a traditional Spanish grilled rice meal, is ideal for grilling since everything cooks in one pan and absorbs the smokey flavor of the fire. The crusty caramelized coating of rice that forms on the bottom of the pan, known as socarrat, is the star of this dish. While the original components include rabbit and snails, as well as vegetables and seafood, this paella mixta variation includes seafood, Spanish chorizo, and chicken. Sip glasses of sangria as the paella cooks for a more authentic Spanish experience.
YUMMY SPANISH PAELLA
— 2 medium, ripe tomatoes (about 12 ounces (ca. 454 g))
— 8 ounces (302.39 g) Spanish chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (If not available, use andouille sausage).
— 16 large shrimp (about 12 ounces (ca. 454 g)), peeled and deveined
— 2 cups paella rice (about 1 pound (ca. 454 g)), sometimes labeled bomba or Valencia (If Arborio rice is not available, it can be substituted; however, the texture will be slightly softer when cooked.).
— 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (pimentón dulce)
— 1 pound (ca. 454 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
— Freshly ground black pepper
— 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
— 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
Tomatoes should be peeled and halved. Using the big holes of a box grater positioned over a medium bowl, grate the flesh side of each half, stopping when you reach the skin. Remove the skins and throw them away. Set aside approximately 3/4 cup of tomato pulp and juice.
In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp with 1/4 teaspoon paprika and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate it after tossing to mix.
Season the chicken well with salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl; put aside.
Preheat an outside grill to high (450 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit). Place a 15-inch paella pan on the grill, cover, and cook for 2 minutes or until hot. Add the chorizo to the pan, close the grill, and cook, stirring regularly, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sausage begins to brown and the fat is rendered. Transfer the chorizo to a large mixing bowl with tongs or a slotted spoon; set aside.
In the pan, there should be a thin coating of rendered fat. If you need more, add 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil. Close the grill and cook the seasoned chicken pieces in a single layer in the pan, stirring regularly, until golden brown on both sides, about 6 minutes total. (To properly disperse the heat, rotate the pan on the grill every now and then.) Transfer the chicken to the bowl with the chorizo using tongs or a slotted spoon; set aside.
Season the onion with salt and pepper, cover the grill, and cook, tossing periodically, until softened, about 5 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed on a gas grill or transferring the paella pan to a cooler portion of a charcoal grill to avoid burning the onions. Stir in the garlic, remaining 3/4 teaspoon paprika, and saffron, and simmer for 30 seconds, or until aromatic.
Add the saved tomato pulp and juice and simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the mixture has slightly deepened in color, about 3 minutes. Stir in the rice and salt to coat the rice in the tomato sauce.
Stir in the broth until everything is well combined. Arrange the rice mixture in an equal layer on the baking sheet. Distribute the chorizo and chicken over the rice, along with any fluids that have gathered in the bowl. (At this stage, do not stir the rice.)
Close the grill and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Continue to cook, stirring periodically, until the rice grains have swollen, the liquid has been absorbed, and the rice starts to crackle, about 12 minutes. (To maintain a brisk simmer, move the pan occasionally to evenly distribute the heat and adjust the heat as needed.)
Place the reserved shrimp and shellfish in the rice (hinge-side down), nestling them gently. Close the grill and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the shellfish have opened, the shrimp are just cooked through, and the rice is tender but still al dente.
Take the pan off the grill, cover it with foil, and let it aside for 5 minutes. Remove any unopened shellfish from the paella before serving, and garnish with parsley. Serve with lemon slices on the side.
Ruby Sangria (ingredients and method) in the next page
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