Paella’s origins can be traced back to the area around Valencia, Spain, near the Albufera Lagoon, where fishing and rice farming coexisted for decades.
Paella was the cuisine of agricultural workers who prepared rice dishes over open flames with whatever ingredients they could find. The paella is named for the broad, shallow pan in which it is prepared. The word “paella” comes from a Valencian dialect that means “pan,” and is most likely derived from the Latin word “patella,” which means “pan.”
Mussels, clams, and shrimp in this saffron-infused paella are plentiful. For the finest flavor, cook it in your largest skillet. It’s a little scary to think about: a huge pan of rice and protein cooked on an outdoor barbecue. However, if you have a paella pan (available online and at most cookware stores), but this is not required, and a good amount of patience, it is shockingly easy to pull off. With practice, your total time will improve. However, the flavors will be superb right from the start.
One large pinch saffron
2 liters chicken broth
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds winglets, deboned if you can.
Salt and black pepper
500gm chorizo, sliced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 cups short-grain rice, such as arborio
6 jumbo shrimp, peeled & chopped
12 mussels, cleaned
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
12 littleneck clams, cleaned
Squid Rings (optional)
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Heat the olive oil in an 18-inch paella pan or a big deep skillet over medium-high heat. (Instead, use a large, broad, shallow, flameproof saucepan.) Season the chicken wings with salt and pepper on all sides before browning them in the heated oil. Place on a plate to cool. In the same pan, cook the chorizo until it begins to brown. Transfer to a second dish coated with paper towels. Remove from the heat.
Set the paella pan back on the burner over medium-high heat. Cook until the onion is transparent, about 4 minutes, until the pan is heated. Stir in the garlic until fragrant, then add the rice and toss well to combine. Using salt and pepper, season to taste.
If you don’t have access to saffron you can substitute it with some turmeric in a pinch, or use both to get an intense deep yellow hue.
Bring the stock, paella pan, chicken, chorizo, and the rest of the ingredients to a table close to the grill. When the fire is at its most intense (all of the coals are lit, and you can only hold your hand over the hottest part of the fire for a few seconds), quickly stir the shrimp, chorizo, and peas into the rice, then pour in 2 liters of stock and a splash of water.
Add the clams and mussels with the hinges facing up so that their juices will be released into the rice as they open in the heat. Place the chicken on top and cover with a thick layer of sauce. Carefully remove the grill grate with heavy gloves and tongs. Drain and add the wood chips to the fire. Place the paella pan on the grill grate and replace the grill grate quickly.
Cook the paella on the grill for 25 to 30 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. If the rice is still underdone, add another cup of stock and cook for another 5–7 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then top with ample amounts of parsley and lemon slices.