Paella with Seafood, Chicken and Chorizo
When you look outside your window and see that four feet of snow, of course the inclination is to make a big pot of braised something over soft polenta.
But after awhile, all that stew seems almost claustrophobic, and you just crave something from the grill.
This is one of my favorite dinner party dishes, but would also make a great weeknight dinner when you're stuck home all day: it's easy to make ahead, delicious, with great leftovers! You deserve it!
If the snow ever melts enough for you to get out to the grill, this is a great dish to throw on it-- in the meantime, your oven will do the trick.
Make sure you buy the dried Spanish chorizo (it is kind of like pepperoni), not the fresh, Mexican-style.
1 pound extra-large shrimp (21/25), peeled and deveined
Kosher Salt and ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each thigh trimmed of excess fat and cut into chunks
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
8 ounces Spanish chorizo, sliced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 cups Arborio rice
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup dry white wine + 1/4 cup for the mussels
½ teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
1 dozen mussels, scrubbed and debearded, if necessary
1 dozen littleneck clams
½ cup frozen green peas
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Season shrimp with kosher salt and pepper, then toss with 1 tablespoon oil; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper; set aside.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large Dutch oven or paella pan over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until skin begins to blister and turn spotty black, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer peppers to small plate and set aside.
Add 1 teaspoon oil to now-empty pan; heat oil until shimmering but not smoking. Add chorizo to pot; cook, stirring frequently, until deeply browned and fat begins to render, 4 to 5 minutes. Add chicken pieces in single layer; cook, without moving pieces, until browned, about 3 minutes. Turn pieces and brown on second side. Transfer chorizo and chicken and set aside.
Add enough oil to the fat in Dutch oven to equal 2 tablespoons; heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes; Stir in tomatoes; cook until mixture begins to darken and thicken slightly, about 3 minutes. Add minced garlic, then stir in rice and cook until grains are well coated with tomato mixture, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, wine, saffron, paprika, bay, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Return chicken and chorizo to pot, increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Cover pot and transfer to oven; cook until rice absorbs almost all liquid, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, steam mussels open in a pot with the other 1/4 cup of white wine. Reserve all the liquid. Discard any mussels that didn't open.
Remove pot from oven (close oven door to retain heat). Uncover pot; scatter shrimp over rice, and pour mussels liquor over rice. Scatter peas and peppers over top. Arrange open mussels around the edge of the pot. Cover and return to oven; cook until shrimp are opaque.
Let paella stand, covered, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf, if it can be easily removed. Sprinkle with parsley and serve, passing lemon wedges and ailoi separately.