Recipe courtesy of Peggy Lampman, DinnerFeed.com
Paella is to Spain what risotto is to Italy — a traditional rice-based dish important to the culinary heritage of each country — the varietal of rice used and method of cooking the rice is critical to the authenticity of the resulting dish. Properly cooked paella should have a caramelized and slightly crisp crust know as the soccarat. Unlike a risotto, which must be continuously stirred, when making paella, the bottom of the paella pan must not be disturbed after all the ingredients are added to develop the crackly layer.
Hands down, the Big Green Egg helps me to achieve paella worthy of a fine Spanish kitchen, lending hardwood smoky elements to the flavor profile, and allowing me to fine tune the heat of the flame insuring the fire was hot enough to achieve the crusty, chewy crust. I understand that traditional paella is cooked over an open flame (uncovered), but I enjoy the added smokiness that results from cooking in an EGG with a closed dome – Peggy Lampman
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30-60 minutes depending on temperature of the EGG
Set the EGG for direct cooking at 400ºF/204ºC.
Soak saffron in wine and stock; reserve. Season both sides of chicken with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and paprika. Heat dry Big Green Egg Paella Pan for a minute on the cooking grid, then add olive oil to lightly cover the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook until golden brown on each side.
Stir onions into the pan around chicken and when just softened, add chorizo. When beginning to sizzle, add the garlic and cook 30-60 seconds, stirring to insure it does not burn. Then stir in rice; heat two minutes without stirring, then pour saffron-wine-stock mixture into the pan.
With the dome closed, let the rice bubble and cook until just beginning to tenderize and some stock remains, but is not soupy, about 15 minutes. If soupy, continue cooking until reduced.
Tuck clams and tomatoes into rice and cover and cook 3 minutes. Then tuck mussels, scallops and shrimp into mixture and cook until clams and mussels are open and scallops and shrimp are just cooked through, adding peppers and peas in the last minute of cooking time. Serve with lemon wedges.
*If using extra large shrimp, tuck them into the pan when clams are added.