A few weeks ago, a friend was in Spain and he posted a photo of paella to his Facebook profile. More specifically, he posted a picture of a paella plate, empty, where his (apparently) very delicious paella had been. This got me to thinking about paella and that I hadn’t made any in a long time, and that I hadn’t posted a recipe to this site. So, I rectified that tonight by making this version with chicken, chorizo and shrimp. The one thing that I would be careful of is not to oversalt — when you are thickening the soffrito and then adding the stock, it could intensify the salt a lot so be careful. I didn’t oversalt, but it was close. Besides that, it was delicious.
1 medium onion, quartered
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves
2 small tomatoes
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup olive oil
1 pound chorizo, casings and ends removed, sliced into rounds
8 ounces shrimp, peeled, deveined
8 ounces boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
3/4 cup dry white or rose wine
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Go-to Amped-up Stock (see recipe below)
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 1/2 cups bomba rice (sometimes called paella rice)
1 cup green olives (such as Castelvetrano), pitted, torn into large pieces
1 lemon, plus wedges for serving
Radish sprouts (for serving, optional)
Flaky sea salt
Process onion, celery, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped; transfer to a small bowl. Add tomatoes to processor and process until smooth; set soffritto aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12″-14″ paella pan or skillet over medium-high. Add chorizo and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Add chicken thighs to same skillet, season with salt, and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer to plate with chorizo.
Add shrimp to same skillet, season with salt, and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to plate with chorizo and chicken.
Heat remaining 1/2 cup oil in same skillet over medium-high. Add soffritto and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8–10 minutes. Add wine, bring to a boil, and cook until mixture is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add paprika, sugar, and 2 teaspoons salt. Increase heat to high and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick, about 3 minutes. Add stock and saffron and bring to a boil.
Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid starts to simmer, about 5 minutes. Quit stirring; a film will form on the surface (this will trap steam, making a gooey cover over the rice, helping it cook evenly). Reduce heat to low and simmer, moving pan around every few minutes so the entire bottom gets equal time over the hottest part of flame, until liquid evaporates, 12-15 minutes.
Top with olives and chorizo, chicken and shrimp. Finely grate lemon zest and squeeze lemon juice over paella, top with sprouts (optional), and season with sea salt. Let paella rest 5 minutes before you dig in; serve with lemon wedges.
Go-to Amped-up Stock
Makes about 3 1/2 cups
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 ounces charcuterie trimmings (such as ham, bacon, and/or chorizo ends)
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 bunch cilantro stems
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled, halved
2 bay leaves
1 cup coarsely chopped mixed vegetables (such as carrots, celery or even peppers)
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups cold water
3 cups low sodium chicken stock
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add charcuterie, onion, cilantro stems, garlic, bay leaves, vegetables, coriander seeds, and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add cold water and chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes. Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing on solids; discard solids.
Stock can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill, or freeze up to 3 months.