Last 16 – Day 2 and the 1st Cook from Spain
I know Paella is a predictable choice for Spain. However, I have never cooked Paella, so this BBQ cook was the first time I had attempted this dish.
Despite the number of ingredients, this was a reasonably easy cook. I think the secret is to read the recipe well so you are familiar with it, and also do all the prep you can before you start cooking. If you try to do it as you go along, the stress levels will rise.
For this cook, I bought a Paella Pan as I think this cook would be almost impossible without one. It was a 46cm pan, so was a pretty tight fit on the 57cm Weber GBS.
I used Australian Heat Beads for this cook as I wanted a consistent heat across the whole BBQ. I filled the Chimney Starter to about 3/4’s full and when ready poured them into the BBQ, and spread out evenly so the whole BBQ was set up for direct cooking. Before I put the grill and pan on I added a couple of Alder wood chunks, to generate some additional smoke.
Once I put the Paella Pan on the BBQ it was then a case of following the recipe and adjusting timings based on the ingredients were cooking.
This has not only been one of my favourite cooks in the last couple of weeks but is also one of my favourites of 2018. I could not have hoped for it to come off any better. It was incredibly tasty and the whole family really enjoyed it, including my son who is not a seafood fan.
This will definitely become a dish that gets cooked regularly in our home.
- Prep Time30 min
- Cook Time1 hr 10 min
- Total Time1 hr 40 min
- Serving Size3
For the Paella
- 2 Tomatoes
- 6 King Prawns (raw)
- 1 Tsp Sweet Smoked Paprika
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 Boneless & Skinless Chicken Thighs (cut into 1-inch pieces)
- 225g Spanish Chorizo (Skin removed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds)
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Onion (diced)
- 2 Garlic Cloves (finely chopped)
- 1 large pinch Saffron threads
- 300g Paella Rice
- 1 Tsp Salt (plus additional for the chicken)
- 1 Ltr Chicken Stock
- 12 Mussels
- 12 Clams
- 2 Tbsp coarsely Chopped Parsley
- 1 Lemon, cut into wedges for serving
Start the cook by lighting your briquettes. I would recommend using briquettes for this cook as it will give you a more even cook in terms of temperatures across your BBQ. With the size of your pan you want a good even heat distribution. Whilst the briquettes are coming up to heat start preparing the ingredients for the Paella.
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. You should have about 3/4 cup of tomato pulp and juice; set aside.
Place the King Prawns into a bowl, and add 1/4 teaspoon of the paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and refrigerate.
Slice the Chicken and place in a bowl and season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
Once your coals are ready to cook pour them onto the BBQ and add a couple of wood chunks. Place the paella pan on the grill, cover, and heat until hot, about 2 minutes. Add the Chorizo to the pan, close the grill, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is starting to brown and the fat is rendered (about 2 to 3 minutes). Remove the Chorizo and transfer to a bowl and set aside.
There will be a thin layer of rendered fat in the pan. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Next, add the seasoned chicken to the pan in a single layer, close the grill, and sear, stirring occasionally, until both sides of the chicken pieces are golden brown, about 6 minutes total. Remove the chicken and transfer to the bowl with the chorizo. Again, set aside.
Add the onion to the pan, season with salt and pepper, close the grill, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2-3 minutes. You need to try to ensure the Onions do not burn – I actually did burn a few slightly. Add the garlic, remaining 3/4 teaspoon paprika, and saffron, and stir to combine, stirring for around 30 seconds.
Add the 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.
Add the chicken stock and stir to combine all the ingredients. Arrange the rice mixture in an even layer across the paella pan. Add the reserved chorizo and chicken over the rice, adding any accumulated juices from the bowl. Do not stir the rice or mixture from this point on.
Close the grill and bring the mixture to a simmer. Continue to simmer, checking occasionally, until the rice grains have swelled, most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 10-12 minutes. (Make sure to rotate the pan occasionally to evenly distribute the heat).
Arrange the king prawns, mussels and clams (hinge-side down) in the rice, nestling them slightly. Close the grill and cook until the shellfish have opened, the shrimp are just cooked through, and the rice is tender but still al dente, again about a further 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove the pan from the grill, cover with foil, and let it stand for 5 minutes. Before serving the paella, discard any unopened shellfish and sprinkle the dish with the parsley. Serve with the lemon wedges.