Paella (pronounced "pie-a-ya") is a traditional Spanish rice dish that originated in Valencia and traditionally used rabbit, vegetables and seafood.
This recipe is an adaptation of that and uses chicken and shrimp instead.
This dish reminds me a lot of jambalaya because of it's looks and ingredients but without the Cajun flavor.
This is best cooked in a traditional paella pan which is wide and flat that allow the rice (also called bomba or Valencia rice and available at specialty stores) to slightly toast on the bottom of the pan.
Cooked over charcoal or on a gas grill is best since you can add a little smoky flavor with chips or smoking pellets which is easily absorbed by the rice.
This recipe can seem time consuming the first time you make it but I think that's because you partially cook one ingredient - set aside - cook another, etc.
After you make it a second time it seems to go much faster.
Also, some purists say that traditional recipes don't contain chorizo sausage. Well, I like the taste of it so I include it. So there.
Serves: 4 - 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Indirect Heat: 450F - 500F
What you'll need:
For the spice blend:
Cut the chicken into 1" cubes.
Place the chicken in a resealable plastic bag and add 1 tablespoon of the spice blend and shake well to cover all the chicken and refrigerate until needed.
Place the thawed shrimp in another resealable plastic bag and add 1 tablespoon of the spice blend and shake well to cover all the shrimp, refrigerate until needed.
Add 1 - 2 tablespoons of canola oil to the pan to sear the chicken.
When the oil is hot add the chicken pieces and stir until evenly browned on all sides, about 6 - 8 minutes.
Once browned transfer the chicken to a bowl and keep covered.
Add the chorizo, onion and green pepper to the pan.
Season with salt and pepper and close the grill lid.
Stir occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and the remaining tablespoon of spice blend to the pan and cook another 1 minute.
Add the canned tomatoes and liquid to the pan and stir well to de-glaze the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, about 3 minutes.
Add the rice and stir well to completely coat with the tomato mixture.
Add the broth and stir well to combine. Make sure the rice mixture is in an even layer across the pan.
Do not stir the rice from this point on.
Place the reserved chicken and any accumulated juices evenly over the surface of the rice.
Close the grill lid and let the paella come to an active simmer for 10 - 12 minutes.
Rotate the pan on the grill now and again to evenly distribute the heat.
Once most of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice grains have swelled place the reserved seasoned shrimp evenly over the surface of the paella, nestling the shrimp down into the mixture slightly.
Close the lid and cook just until the shrimp have cooked and turned orange and opaque and the rice is tender but al dente, about 10 - 12 minutes.
Remove the pan from the grill and cover with aluminum foil for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve with reserved lemon wedges.
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