If I had to pick a favorite summer barbecue recipe, I would definitely choose paella as one of my top two. Yes that’s right, a chicken and rice dish for summer! This meal is SO cool to create because it’s made right on the barbecue … also it’s just plain amazing.
This is kind of a revisit to an older recipe. I posted about chicken paella before but it was all about a cooking demonstration I attended where I first learned about paella. Check it out, there’s a pretty neat video there with step by step instructions from a chef in Downtown Disney. This time, I made paella myself at home on the barbecue.
Paella is a great meal for a party or small get-together. It feeds a lot of people (depending on the size of pan you have) and it’s a fun experience: taking all the steps and then finally enjoying it together at the table. So I’m that kind of person that when I feel like making a fancy huge meal, I make it, even if I’m home alone- which I was when I made this delicious paella. A small part of me wishes someone could have seen the beautiful meal on the grill, but that’s why I have a camera and containers for leftovers!
Adapted from Catal Restaurant and Uva Bar
You will need a 10″ paella pan
- 4 Chicken thighs (I used boneless, but bone-in will work too)
- 1/2 Pound chorizo
- 1/2 cup Arborio rice
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (plus more if needed)
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 Yellow onion
- 1 Red bell pepper
- 1 Can diced tomato, drained
- 6 Garlic cloves, minced
- Pinch of saffron
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil
Heat up your barbecue and get it ready for some paella action!
Make the sofrito first: combine the diced onion, diced red pepper, 3 minced garlic cloves and the can of tomatoes to a frying pan on the stovetop. Saute over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring often. “Sofrito” is the name for a sauce base in Spain.
While the sofrito is cooking, place the paella pan on the grill and let it heat up. If you are using a gas grill, keep it at a medium-high flame, for charcoal – make sure it’s HOT.
Pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan. When it just starts to smoke, add the chicken pieces to the center of the pan. Let each side get golden brown before turning. Cook the chicken for about 10 minutes.
Next, add in the crumbled chorizo and the remaining 3 minced garlic cloves around the edge of the pan. Sprinkle everything with the paprika, salt, pepper, and saffron. Let this cook for a bit (about 5-6 minutes) and then give everything a good stir.
Next, add in the sofrito mixture that was cooking on your stove. Stir everything around on the sides of the pan. Make sure the chicken pieces are still placed in the center.
Now is the time to heat up the chicken stock on the stove top. It’s best to add hot stock to the paella, rather than cold or room temperature so that it doesn’t slow or halt the cooking process.
Get everything situated in the paella pan where you want it to be (as you won’t stir it after this point), then sprinkle in the rice all around the pan.
Slowly add in the HOT stock, pouring it over the rice. Keep some extra stock handy to add later.
Now you wait and let it cook – do not stir! Go ahead and pick up the pan and shake it around if needed – to get all the rice under the stock.
*Note* Keep an eye on it and if you see that the liquid has cooked down but the rice is still hard, add in more stock where needed. I ended up adding more stock about 3 different times.
Let it simmer until the rice is fully cooked. Top with fresh chopped parsley and enjoy your masterpiece!