Summer is winding down, which is a great excuse to have a paella party. Vibrant and flavorful, studded with smoky sausage, chicken and fresh shellfish, a paella shouts “fiesta.” It’s a fun dish to enjoy outdoors, family-style, while the weather is still warm and the days are long.
Active Time: about 1 hour
Total Time: about 1 hour
Yield: Serves 4 to 5
- 4 large plum (Roma) tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 pound chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 pound large (16/18) shrimp, shelled and deveined, tails intact
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces chorizo
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups paella rice, rinsed
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
Grate the cut sides of the tomatoes on a box grater. Discard the skins and transfer the pulp and juices to a small bowl. You should have about 1 cup. Bring the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the saffron, if using, and keep warm over low heat.
Place the chicken in a bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon smoked paprika and the cumin, and season with salt and black pepper. Place the shrimp in a separate bowl and season with salt and black pepper.
Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Preheat a 12- to 15-inch paella pan or large cast-iron skillet for about 10 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the pan. Add the chorizo and cook until the chorizo is golden brown on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes, turning as needed. Transfer the sausage to a bowl. There should be rendered fat from the chorizo remaining in the pan. If not, add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Arrange the chicken in one layer in the paella pan and cook until colored on both sides, 4 to 6 minutes, turning as needed. Transfer the chicken to the bowl with the chorizo.
Add the onion and sauté until softened without coloring, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and 1 tablespoon smoked paprika and stir until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the tomatoes with juices and the wine and stir to combine. Simmer until most of the liquid evaporates and the mixture thickens and darkens slightly, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in the rice and 1 teaspoon salt. Pour in the broth and gently stir to combine.
Arrange the chicken and chorizo over the rice, nudging the pieces slightly into the rice, then drizzle with any accumulated juices from the bowl. Cook the paella, with the grill lid closed, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is exposed, turning the pan occasionally to ensure even cooking, about 20 minutes. Nestle the shrimp into the rice and continue to cook, with the grill lid closed, until the shrimp are cooked through and the rice is making a crackling sound, 10 to 12 minutes more, rotating the pan occasionally to ensure even cooking. (Note: If you are cooking on the stovetop, partially cover the pan once you add the shellfish to hasten their cooking process.)
Remove the paella from the grill. Let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the parsley over the paella and garnish with lemon wedges. Serve immediately.