For a big party dish, paella is a real stunner that serves up plenty of compliments from guests. Use a paella pan and finish the dish on the outdoor grill.
Makes 8 servings
4 chicken thighs
4 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
Salt and pepper
1 chorizo sausage, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 8-ounce can chopped tomatoes, drained
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Valencia rice
1 cup white wine
4 cups chicken stock
Pinch of saffron
4 mussels, cleaned
1 cup frozen peas
Season chicken with paprika, salt and pepper. Cook in paella pan until chicken is browned and beginning to caramelize. Remove chicken and keep warm. Add chorizo to pan and cook through. Remove chorizo and keep warm.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in paella pan. Add tomatoes, onion, peppers and garlic and cook until very soft and mushy. Remove vegetables. In the meantime, heat stock in a saucepan. When stock is simmering, add saffron. Cover and keep warm.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in paella pan. Add rice and stir until well coated and transparent, about 2 minutes. Add wine and stir, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Return vegetables to pan and pour in stock. Stir gently to evenly distribute ingredients. Taste paella and add additional salt and/or pepper if necessary. Nestle chicken thighs, chorizo, and shrimp in rice. Bring paella to a gentle boil and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. (If necessary, heat water in the same pan as the stock and add ½ cup at a time) Do not stir paella while it is cooking, and be careful not to let the bottom scorch.
While paella is cooking, steam mussels in boiling water until they open, discarding any that do not open. Add peas and cooked mussels about 2 minutes before the paella is done cooking. To finish, tent with foil for 10 minutes before serving.
NOTE: If you are trying this recipe on the grill and the liquid has not absorbed after 20 minutes, consider finishing the paella in the oven. Just preheat your oven to 350°F, and then cook for about 10 minutes. (Read our article for full instructions on how to grill this recipe!)
Photo: Daniel Bobadilla, via flickr