2 medium tomatoes
16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces Spanish chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 to 2 T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, small dice
2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large pinch saffron threads
2 c. paella (bomba or Valencia) rice
1 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning the shrimp and chicken
4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1 c. frozen green peas
16 mussels, scrubbed
2 T coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 medium lemons, cut into wedges
Heat the oven to 400°
Core and halve the tomatoes. Grate the flesh side of each half on the large holes of a box grater set over a medium bowl, stopping when you get to the skin. Discard the skins. Set aside tomato pulp and juice
Put the shrimp in a bowl, add 1/4 teaspoon of the paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and refrigerate.
Put the chicken in a bowl and seasons with salt and pepper; set aside.
Place a 15-inch paella pan (or large skillet) across two burners and heat over medium-high heat until hot, about 2 minutes. Add the chorizo to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until it has started to brown and the fat has rendered, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a bowl; set aside.
There should be a thin layer of rendered fat in the pan. If there's not enough, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the seasoned chicken to the pan and sear, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes total. (You will need to rotate the pan occasionally over the burners to evenly distribute the heat.) transfer the chicken to the bowl with the chorizo; set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, remaining 3/4 teaspoon paprika, and saffron and cook about 30 seconds.
Add the reserved tomato pulp and juice and cook until the mixture has slightly darkened in color, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and measured salt and stir to coat in the tomato mixture.
Increase the heat to medium high. Add the broth and stir to combine. Arrange the rice mixture in an even layer. Distribute the reserved chorizo and chicken over the rice, adding any accumulated juices from the bowl. Do not stir the rice from this point on
Bring to a simmer and add peas in an equal fashion on top, making sure not to stir the rice. Adjust the heat as necessary and rotate the pan 90 degrees every few minutes, until the rice grains have swelled, most of the liquid has been absorbed, and the rice starts to make a crackling sound, about 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Arrange the reserved shrimp and the shellfish (hinge-side down) in the rice, nestling them slightly. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the shellfish have opened, the shrimp are just cooked through, and the rice is tender but still al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and cover with foil and let stand for 5 minutes. Before serving the paella, discard any unopened shellfish and sprinkle the dish with the parsley. Serve with the lemon wedges.
- If you don't have a paella pan a large skillet may be used, but you may want to adjust the quantity accordingly. The paella needs to be cooked in thin layer as the aim is to get a crispy layer of rice on the bottom of the pan
-other seafood and meat can be substituted, rabbit and snails being most authentic. The peas can also be substituted with sliced bell pepper (add earlier in process, however)
-high quality paprika makes a large difference in this recipe