Spanish Paella is an amazing and easy homemade meal! Layers of seafood, sausages, chicken thighs, vegetables, rice, and spices are amazing when cooked on a outdoor grill. I served this for an afternoon lunch on the patio while my guests sipped on white wine, and ate nibbles. They helped and watched the magic happen as layers of food were added one at a time to create an amazing blend of Spanish deliciousness. You will need at least a 16-18" paella pan (click the link to purchase) or a large wide shallow pan. Get all your ingredients "mise en place" and start cooking. It takes about an hour or so from start to finish. Serve a crisp salad such as my Orange, Fennel, & Mint Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette, and keep the Sangria flowing.
Like debates on the best Italian Lasagna, there are so many versions and opinions on Paella. This Paella recipe is my version with chicken thighs, Italian sausage, chorizo, shrimp, lobster tails, peas, red bell peppers, and artichoke hearts. Use Aborio rice if you can't find the traditional Spanish Bomba rice. This recipe is mild, however you can easily spice it up by adding more smoked paprika and red pepper flakes to taste. One important tip for Paella is to use dried-cured Spanish Chorizo sausage and not the Mexican version which are fresh sausage links. I used pre-packaged thin slices of chorizo, like pepperoni, since that was all I could find at my local grocer. You can also order some fabulous cooked chorizo sausages from D'Artagnan which I will do since I plan to make this again this summer. In that case the chorizo is diced into small chunks.
Here is a visual guide to making Paella on the Grill:
So back to the Spanish Grand Prix!
The Spanish Grand Prix is currently held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in beautiful Barcelona and as one of the oldest Formula One races, it celebrated its centenary in 2013. Barcelona is calling us as a food lover's paradise as well a Grand Prix racing capital. For foodies, it is said a stay in Catalunya is not complete until you’ve tried ‘Crema Catalana’, a Spanish version of French Creme Brulee. I hope I can talk my husband into going to Barcelona for next year's Grand Prix and trying the some of the world-class restaurants.
The big question for this race is whether Scuderia Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel will 1) actually finish all the laps, and 2) can he finally get a win? He has had a string of bad luck lately with an engine blown in Bahrain, and a debilitating crash with Red Bull in Russia. Rumors are that Red Bull will be replacing driver Daniil Kvyat with Max Verstappen after Kyvat was faulted for the crash in Russia. Chris Hemsworth (Rush 2013) can't wait for the paella and the race either.
Spanish Grand Prix: Paella on the Grill
- 30 threads saffron crushed (a scant 1⁄2 tsp.)
- 1 ½ pound chicken thighs cut in half, remove half of the skin
- 2 pound bag frozen shrimp 21-25 count (large), thawed, peeled and deveined
- 2 -3 lobster tails bottom membrane and sharp tips removed
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
- 1 ⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 oz. dry-cured Spanish chorizo sliced
- 1 pound Italian sauce sliced in 1 inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes or 3 medium tomatoes diced
- 1 medium onion minced
- 7 cups chicken broth
- 2 1 ⁄2 cups Arborio rice
- 8 ounces fresh or frozen peas
- 2 red peppers blackened over flame, peeled and cut into thick strips
- 1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts 5-7 count, drained
- Get all ingredients measured and ready to use near the grill.
- Put saffron and 1⁄4 cup hot water in a small bowl; let sit for 15 minutes.
- Pre-heat grill to medium-high heat.
- Place the paella pan directly on the grill grate and add the olive oil. (It will seem like a lot of oil at this point but it will be absorbed).
- When hot, add the chicken and chorizo and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Push meats to side of pan.
- Brush exposed meat of lobster tail with oil and plate tails directly on grill grate. Cook for 10 minutes while shrimp is cooking.
- Add shrimp to the center of the pan and cook for 3 minutes, turning once. Transfer shrimp, lobster tails and chorizo to a platter, leaving meats in pan.
- Add Italian sausage to pan and cook until brown on all sides. Push to the sides with the chicken.
- Add onions, paprika, garlic, salt, black & red pepper and tomatoes to the middle of the pan and cook, stirring often, until onions soften, about 6 minutes.
- Spread out the meat and all ingredients evenly around the pan. Add reserved saffron liquid, chicken broth and bay leaves and bring to pan to rolling boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium. Sprinkle in rice over the meat / broth and distribute evenly with a spoon. Add artichokes, peas, and peppers in an evenly distributed layer over the rice. Close the lid on the grill for 10 - 12 minutes to create an oven and speed cooking time. Cook, without stirring, until rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Open the lid and check and if needed cook a few more minutes if needed.
- Reduce heat to low and arrange/nestle the reserved shrimp, lobster, and chorizio on top of the rice. Close lid again, and cook, without stirring, until the rice has absorbed the liquid and is al dente, 5–10 minutes more. The edges of the pan will be crispy.
- Remove pan from heat, cover with aluminum foil, and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve family style.