Paella on the Grill

Circle B Kitchen

This paella can be made on the stove, on the grill or in a brick oven. We’ve made it every which way and it’s all good. (This time we started it on the grill and then finished it in the brick oven.) We love the deep, smoky flavors that develop as it cooks on the grill. Although it is sacrilege to cover paella as it cooks, we really like to put the lid on the grill for that last five or ten minutes, which gives it time to absorb even more of those smoky flavors as the rice finishes cooking. We use a 15" paella pan, but you could use a large flat-bottomed skillet of about that same size.

Serves at least 6

¼ cup (or more) olive oil

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into large chunks

1 lb. Spanish chorizo, cut into chunks

1 yellow onion, diced

½ green pepper, ½ red pepper, ½ yellow pepper, sliced or diced

3 large cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika)

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less depending on your heat preferences)

½ cup white wine

1 14-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes with juice

1 bottle clam juice

4 cups chicken stock

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 tsp saffron threads, crushed

2 cups arborio or Calasparra rice

16-20 uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined (you can leave the tails on if you like)

About 20 Mussels

¼ to ½ lb calamari

Lemon wedges for serving

Other optional additions include sliced green olives and peas. You can substitute just about any kind of sausage for the chorizo and other seafood including clams, scallops and lobster


Prepare the grill to about medium high heat.

Place a large skillet or paella pan on the grill and add the olive oil. Brown the chicken thighs on both sides, and cook for about 5-10 minutes.

Add the onions and peppers to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes or so or until starting to soften. Then add the chorizo and cook until brown and crispy. Sprinkle in the smoked paprika, crushed red pepper and minced garlic and stir until well distributed and fragrant.

Deglaze the pan with wine for 2 minutes, and then add the tomatoes, broth, saffron, clam juice, and salt and bring to a simmer. Add the rice to the pan, stirring so that it's evenly distributed in the broth and then add the shrimp, mussels, and calamari, nestling the seafood partially into the rice and broth. Simmer, uncovered, without stirring for about 20 minutes. (We like to put the lid over the grill for the last 5 or 10 minutes to allow the smoke to permeate the paella).

Remove from the heat and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with lemon wedges and a fresh, crusty loaf of bread.