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Paella is a wonderful Spanish dish. My version has chicken, pork and seafood and is cooked on the grill.
For the Paella
- 2 lbs / 1kg meat (chicken and pork, see Notes), cut into 1in / 3cm pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ½ small onion
- 1 red, 1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
- ½ lb / 200g tomatoes, finely chopped
- ½ lb / 200g green beans (I usually use frozen)
- 12 large shrimp, tail-on, de-veined
- 6 large scallops
- 6 baby octopuses, cleaned
- 12 live clams or mussels. scrubbed
- 1 lb / 450g Arborio rice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp Saffron
- Salt, Pepper (to taste)
For the stock
- 2 lbs / 1kg fish (see Notes)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 stalk of celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- chicken bones, if available from the main recipe
- 1 cup / 250ml dry white wine
- 2 quarts / 2l water (or chicken stock, if available)
- 2 tsp salt (or to taste, adjust if you use chicken stock and it is salty)
- Set heavy saucepan on medium heat. Add olive oil and onions and cook until very lightly browned.
- Add garlic, carrot, celery and salt. Cook for another minute. Add fish (and optionally the chicken bones). Cook for a few more minutes.
- Add water (and/or stock) and dry white wine. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for at least 45min, better 60-90min
Strain, retain the stock and discard the solids. Keep the stock hot.
- Rub meats with freshly ground pepper (to taste)
- Heat up 14in (36cm) Paella pan on the grill
- Add the olive oil, then brown the meat from all sides. Remove meat from the pan and set aside.
- Cook octopuses for ca. 30s. Remove, set aside.
- Cook onions until translucent, add garlic, green beans and bell peppers. Cook for a few more minutes.
- Add back the meat, add the rice, cook until the rice starts to become translucent.
- Add tomatoes, cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add saffron to the hot stock, stir. Add the stock to the Paella pan.
- Throw a few wood chips on the grill, set the grill to low heat (put on lid if possible) and simmer until the liquid has been almost absorbed (depends on heat, ca. 25min)
- Stick the mussels into the rice, cook for ca. 3min. Put scallops and shrimp on top. Cook until almost done (2-4min). Add octopuses, cook for another minute or two so that they can heat up. Serve.
- Flavorful fish is better for the stock. Fish heads work well. You can also add shrimp heads. Cheap fillets (e.g. tilapia) work too, but not as well (a little trick to intensify the flavor is to add 1 anchovy to the fish).
- For the meats I use equal parts of chicken thighs and not too lean pork (lean pork can get really dry and tough). I usually get bone-in chicken thighs, remove the bones and cook them with the stock.
- I cook the Paella on my Weber charcoal grill. The lid and the adjustable air inlet allow very good temperature control and very effective adding of wood chips for smoky flavors.
Yields ca. 6 servings
Preparation time ca. 2 - 2½ hours
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