Eduardo’s Paella

I can count with one hand the times I’ve lit the charcoal grill by myself. The outdoor kitchen – er, grill and a small adjacent table – are definitely my husband’s realm. It was his idea to buy a paella pan to use outside, and after a practice run (and a bit of coaching from the neighbors last Sunday), the man can make a mean paella. I love his grilling face – he not only looks physically hot and sweaty from working, his brown furrows in concentration, his eyes narrow for a few seconds, but then he breaks into a smile. “Yeah… this looks good”.  So do you, babe.

Before his ears turn the color of the tomatoes in the countertop, here’s the recipe for the paella. We adapted this recipe from Food and Wine (Easy Grilled Paella) with bits of knowledge from the paella episode of “From Spain with Love”.   If you can, please seek out Valencia style rice.  The specialty food stores here charge an arm and a leg for bags of arroz bomba or calaspararra – the best known paella rices – but there is a brand readily available in supermarkets in the US at a reasonable price.  In a pinch, you may substitute with arborio rice.

Sofrito, Chorizo, Tomato & Paprika

Eduardo’s Paella

(for a 14″ paella pan; serves 6-8)


  • 1 1/2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
In a skillet or shallow pan, add the olive oil and bring the temperature to medium heat.  Saute the onions until soft.  Add the garlic and cook for two more minutes, until fragrant.  Transfer the onion and garlic to a food processor, and puree it.  Set aside, and light up the grill.

The Paella

  • 1 pound boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 large chorizo links, sliced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 1/4 cups Valencia rice
  • 1 1/2 pounds mixed seafood (we used shrimp, shelled  mussels, octopus and squid)
Cooking Liquid
  • A fat pinch of saffron threads or 1/8 teaspoon powdered saffron, dissolved in 1/2 cup of water.
  • 1/2 clam juice
  • 3 1/2 cups seafood broth

Season the chicken with salt and a pepper and sautee on the paella until no longer pink.  Set the chicken aside.  Add the chorizo, the pureed sofrito, and paprika and cook for about four minutes or until fragrant.  Add the tomatoes and cook for two more minutes.  Add the cooking liquids and bring up to a boil.  Add the rice, stirring for a while.  Cover with aluminum foil, and allow to cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the liquid reduces by half.  Add the seafood and cover again.  Allow the paella to finish cooking for 8-12 more minutes, until a crust forms in the bottom of the pan.

The Lagniappe
(Optional garnishes)

  • Roasted red pepper slices
  • 2/3 cups defrosted sweet peas
  • lemon wedges for serving
Add the sweet peas and stir them through the paella.  Allow them to warm through.  Decorate top of the paella with roasted red peppers and serve with lemon wedges.

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Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

4 Responses to “Eduardo’s Paella”

  1. September 20, 2011 at 10:47 pm #

    This dish reminds me of my dad. Paella became his absolute favorite dish when he was stationed in Spain. It looks like Eduardo did a fantastic job and especially outdoors on the grill! Very impressive!

  2. September 21, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    I am always a little (a whole lot) envious of those who have found a way to master the charcoal grill…

    • September 21, 2011 at 10:29 am #

      Cher, it’s all in the chimney starter. You need to light up the charcoal in one of these contraptions, and when the top brickets are blazing, remove the grill from the barbecue, squeeze the lever and the charcoal will be released. Put the grill back on, and voilá – ready to grill!

  3. October 12, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    This paella looks great! What a great authentic one-dish meal!

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