Fisherman’s Paella (Paella a la Marinera)

  • 25 threads saffron, crushed (a heaping 1⁄4 tsp.)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lbs. extra-large head-on shrimp in the shell
  • 1 lb. cuttlefish or small squid, cleaned and cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 4 medium tomatoes, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • 2 1⁄2 cups short-grain rice, preferably Valencia or bomba
  • 2 lbs. small clams, cleaned

Put saffron and 1⁄4 cup hot water in a small bowl; let sit for 15 minutes.

Heat oil in a 16"–18" paella pan over medium-high heat. Add shrimp, lightly salt, and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add cuttlefish, paprika, tomatoes, garlic, peppers, and onions to pan and cook, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 6 minutes. Add reserved saffron mixture and broth, season with salt, and bring to a boil over high heat.

Sprinkle in rice, distribute evenly with a spoon, and cook, without stirring, until rice has absorbed most of the liquid, 10–12 minutes. (If your pan is larger than the burner, rotate it every two minutes so different parts are over the heat and the rice cooks evenly.)

Reduce heat to low, add reserved shrimp, and nestle in clams hinge side down; cook, without stirring, until clams have opened and rice has absorbed the liquid and is al dente, 5–10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, cover with aluminum foil, and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Recipe adapted from Saveur, Issue #128

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