How about Paella to celebrate the Labor Day Weekend! But on the Weber. We love dining at home, especially on weekends. My husband typically gets excited and becomes adventurous on the weekends with meal planning. He enjoys a challenge, seeks out flavorful food, and loves firing up the grill. He did all the work for this dish and deserves all the glory! Cook’s Illustrated and The New York Times are his go to sources for interesting dishes.
Paella on the Weber should be on your next weekend menu. Invite some friends because this dish is best shared with be those you love. Maybe you add a fresh herby green salad and sliced watermelon for dessert. FYI this dish takes time but well worth it. The charcoal Weber grill makes this the perfect summer, fall, and spring dish to cook outside.
It takes a run to the grocery store and some prep with a little bit of kitchen time. He used an aluminum disposable pan which has its benefits but you don’t get that crisp crunchy rice sticking to the pan. But nothing to scrub is a major upside to me!
Here is the recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. We substituted spicy chicken for the chorizo and also left out the clams. The dish still had loads of flavor. Don’t be afraid to add some of your favorite hot sauce along with the fresh squeezed lemon!
|1 ½||pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and halved crosswise|
|Salt and pepper|
|12||ounces jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled and deveined|
|6||tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil|
|6||garlic cloves, minced|
|1 ¾||teaspoons hot smoked paprika|
|3||tablespoons tomato paste|
|4||cups chicken broth|
|1||(8-ounce) bottle clam juice|
|⅔||cup dry sherry|
|Pinch saffron threads (optional)|
|1||onion, chopped fine|
|½||cup jarred roasted red peppers, chopped fine|
|3||cups Arborio rice|
|1||pound littleneck clams, scrubbed|
|1||pound Spanish-style chorizo sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces|
|1||cup frozen peas, thawed|
This recipe was developed using a light-colored 16 by 13.5-inch tri-ply roasting pan; however, it can be made in any heavy roasting pan that measures at least 14 by 11 inches. If your roasting pan is dark in color, the cooking times will be on the lower end of the ranges given. The recipe can also be made in a 15- to 17-inch paella pan. If littlenecks are unavailable, use 1½ pounds shrimp in step 1 and season them with ½ teaspoon salt.
1. Place chicken on large plate and sprinkle both sides with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon oil, ½ teaspoon garlic, ¼ teaspoon paprika, and ¼ teaspoon salt in bowl until evenly coated. Set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add remaining garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until garlic sticks to bottom of saucepan and begins to brown, about 1 minute. Add tomato paste and remaining 1½ teaspoons paprika and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until dark brown bits form on bottom of saucepan, about 1 minute. Add broth, clam juice, sherry, and saffron, if using. Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Remove saucepan from heat and set aside.
3A. For a Charcoal Grill: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter mounded with charcoal briquettes (7 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Using tongs, arrange 20 unlit briquettes evenly over coals. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
3B. For a Gas Grill: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave all burners on high.
4. Clean and oil cooking grate. Place chicken on grill and cook until both sides are lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes total. Return chicken to plate. Clean cooking grate.
5. Place roasting pan on grill (turning burners to medium-high if using gas) and add remaining ¼ cup oil. When oil begins to shimmer, add onion, red peppers, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion begins to brown, 4 to 7 minutes. Add rice (turning burners to medium if using gas) and stir until grains are well coated with oil.
6. Arrange chicken around perimeter of pan. Pour broth mixture and any accumulated juices from chicken over rice. Smooth rice into even layer, making sure nothing sticks to sides of pan and no rice rests atop chicken. When liquid reaches gentle simmer, place shrimp in center of pan in single layer. Arrange clams in center of pan, evenly distributing with shrimp and pushing hinge sides of clams into rice slightly so they stand up. Distribute chorizo evenly over surface of rice. Cook (covered if using gas), moving and rotating pan to maintain gentle simmer across entire surface of pan, until rice is almost cooked through, 12 to 18 minutes. (If using gas, heat can also be adjusted to maintain simmer.)
7. Sprinkle peas evenly over paella, cover grill, and cook until liquid is fully absorbed and rice on bottom of pan sizzles, 5 to 8 minutes. Continue to cook, uncovered, checking bottom of pan frequently with metal spoon, until uniform golden-brown crust forms, 8 to 15 minutes longer. (Rotate and slide pan around grill as necessary to ensure even crust formation.) Remove pan fr
Why this dish works from CI:
Grilling paella lends the dish subtle smoke and a particularly caramelized crust and makes it a great dish for summer entertaining. In place of a traditional paella pan, we cooked ours in a large, sturdy roasting pan that maximized the amount of socarrat, the prized caramelized rice crust that forms on the bottom of the pan. Building a large (7-quart) fire and fueling it with fresh coals (which ignited during cooking) ensured that the heat output would last throughout cooking, but we also shortened the outdoor cooking time by using roasted red peppers and tomato paste (instead of fresh peppers and tomatoes), making an infused broth with the seasonings, and grilling (rather than searing) the chicken thighs. To ensure that the various components finished cooking at the same time, we staggered the addition of the proteins—first the chicken thighs, followed by the chorizo, shrimp, and clams. We also deliberately placed the chicken on the perimeter of the pan, where it would finish cooking gently after grilling, and the sausage and seafood in the center, where they were partially submerged in the liquid so that they cooked through; once the liquid reduced, the steam kept them warm.
Such a great dish for entertaining. Thanks Cook’s Illustrated! Happy cooking!