Break out the grill, it’s time to make paella

Picture this: You’re on wind swept beach in Spain. You gather driftwood and make a fire. You just happen to have a paella pan with you plus all the ingredients for a great meal.

You cook your paella over wood flames with the sounds of the surf as a sound track. Very romantic, right?

It’s the way many folks in Spain and France will enjoy that dish this summer.

Both oceans are far from Kansas City, but you can make your paella outdoors on your backyard grill. The grill will work great, give it a smoky taste and be almost as dramatic as the beach in Spain.

An 18-inch paella pan fits beautifully on the standard 22-inch Weber Grill. If you can’t find a paella pan in Kansas City, you can order one from The Spanish Table.

Paella on the Grill

Makes 8 servings

  • 8 drumsticks or thighs
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock per 1/2 cup of rice
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons saffron threads
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • 1 each red and green pepper, seeded, quartered and diced
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice per person, either Valencia or Bomba
  • 1 pound smoked sausage cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 can (15 ounces) quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 can (28 ounces) Italian tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 pound large uncooked shrimp, peels on or off, your choice
  • 1 pound scallops, cleaned
  • 2 pounds mussels, cleaned
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, defrosted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the chicken pieces and pat them dry with paper towels. Roast the chicken in the oven until done, about 25 minutes, and set aside.

Light the coals in your grill and evenly distribute. The coals should be white hot when you start cooking. You are going to need at least 40 minutes of heat.

In a large saucepan, heat the chicken stock and white wine. In a dry saute pan over medium heat, heat the saffron until it begins to have aroma, then add it to the stock/wine mixture. Add the paprika and stir. Keep warm.

In a large paella pan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and peppers and cook until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Add the rice and coat it with oil. Now move the paella to the grill. With a soup ladle, add about 4 cups of the stock mixture to the rice mixture. Continue adding liquid 2 cups at a time as the rice absorbs the liquid. Stir often.

After about 10 minutes, add the sausage, artichoke hearts, tomatoes with their juice, and garbanzo beans. Add the remaining liquid and stir often. When the rice is beginning to be tender, about 25 minutes depending on the heat of your fire, add the shrimp, scallops, chicken. Stir gently after this as the scallops will fall apart with vigorous stirring. You may need to add additional liquid, with chicken stock, wine or water. Cover the grill.

After 5 minutes, add the mussels and the peas and salt to taste. Cover again until the mussels are open and the shrimp turn pink.

Source: The Big Platter Cookbook

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