I have a fantastic grill ~ the STOK Quattro. It’s a convertible grill that allows you to change the BBQ grate into a chicken roaster, griddle, wok and more. I just purchased the wok insert and wanted to try something totally new.
If you don’t have this same grill, that’s okay. You can make this recipe with a large oven-safe wok placed on your gas grill.
Truly good paella has a crispy, crunchy, almost burnt crust on the bottom called socarrat. It’s hard to master that crust on a stovetop or in the oven, but if you cook paella on a grill, people will think you’ve been trained by a Spanish chef.
I trained with French and Belgian chefs and never made it to Spain while living in Europe. No worries though. That just means we need to make another road trip. Someday I’ll sample authentic paella on the Spanish coast.
Great paella has a mix of seafood, chorizo and chicken. The meats’ juices absorb into short grain rice along with a little spice and veggies. I’m a little seafood deprived here in Central Texas, so I only used shrimp, but I made up for the lack of fresh clams by using clam juice. If clam juice intimidates you, you can use chicken broth instead.
The dish also calls for Saffron, which is the most expensive spice in the world. I spent about $4 for a gram of saffron, which equates to about $1,800 a pound, but there was even more expensive saffron to choose from. If you’re on a budget, you can skip the saffron and still create a nice meal for your family.
This is a hearty rice dish packed full of flavors. I know it’s winter and not quite grilling season, but I encourage you to light up the grill, light up the outdoor fire pit, pour yourself a glass of sangria and enjoy the spirit of Spain.
This will be the result.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup (1/2 lb.) uncooked shrimp, chopped
- 1 link chorizo
- 2 chicken breasts, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- ½ red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 8-oz. bottle clam juice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 tomatoes, pureed in blender
- ½ tsp. saffron threads, crushed
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
- ¼ cup frozen peas, thawed
If using a STOK Quattro grill, place the wok insert into the grill. Turn the two burners below the insert to high (the large dot). Close the lid and let the grill reach 350 degrees.
If using a regular gas grill, place a large oven-proof wok inside and heat the grill to 350.
Add the olive oil and shrimp to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the shrimp is slightly pink and still translucent. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
Pinch the chorizo out of the link. Add it to the pan with the chopped chicken. Cook for 7 minutes, or until the chicken is just barely cooked through.
Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper. Sauté for 3 minutes, until tender.
Add the rice and paprika. Stir for two minutes, so the rice absorbs the flavors.
Add the clam juice and wine. Stir. Close the grill lid and cook for 10 minutes.
Open the lid and stir the rice. This rice should have absorbed most of the liquid. Stir in the tomatoes and saffron. Close the lid and cook for 10-15 more minutes, or until the rice is tender.
Stir in the cooked shrimp, salt, pepper, Tony’s and peas. Close the lid and cook for 2 more minutes.
Remove from heat and serve.