Seafood and Chorizo Paella
This version of paella combines a variety of seafood with chorizo for an unconventional twist on the classic Spanish dish. While typically paella is made over an open flame, this version is made on the stovetop for an easier at home preparation. Rotate the pan continuously so that the rice cooks evenly over the burners.
Paella is the ultimate one-pan meal, and makes for the perfect dinner party entrée. My favorite part of paella is the crispy rice that is at the bottom of the pan, known as the socarrat. If I have leftovers I always reheat the rice in a nonstick skillet and let it sauté, untouched for a few minutes, to add an extra layer of crispy rice.
The key to this dish is adding the seafood in steps so that it cooks evenly and doesn’t dry out or overcook. I choose to use a combination of monkfish, shrimp, mussels, clams, and squid for a seafood packed paella. Monkfish is a “meaty” fish that resembles lobster meat in its sweet, rich flavor and firm texture, earning it the nickname “poor man’s lobster”. Only the tail of the fish is actually edible -- with a large flat head and two rows of razor sharp teeth, the rest of the fish looks like the closest thing to a sea monster one can imagine.
I get my fresh seafood from a local store, Santa Monica Seafood, as it has a great selection of fish with plenty of sustainable options. Click the link here for an exclusive coupon for your next order from Santa Monica Seafood!
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups seafood stock
¼ teaspoon crushed saffron threads
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium tomatoes on the vine, cored and diced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 cups short grain rice, Bomba or Arborio, thoroughly rinsed and drained
½ pound monkfish, cut into 1” cubes
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 ounces cured Spanish chorizo, sliced and halved into half moons
½ pound jumbo (26/30) shell-on, tail-on shrimp, deveined
1 pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded
½ pound littleneck clams, scrubbed
½ pound cleaned squid, cut into ½” rounds
½ cup shelled English peas
2 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Lemon slices, for garnish
Heat the chicken stock and seafood stock in a medium saucepot over medium heat. Add the saffron then bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
Heat a 16-inch paella pan or large enameled cast-iron casserole dish over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato and paprika and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly.
Add the rice and stir to coat in the oil, letting it cook for about a minute. Add the warmed stock and stir to combine and evenly spread the rice out in the pan. Cook, without stirring, but rotating the pan frequently, until half the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Season the monkfish on all sides with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low then nestle the chorizo, monkfish and shrimp into the rice. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 5 minutes. Add the mussels and clams with the hinge-side down as well as the squid, and peas. Cover again and cook until the clams and mussels open, about and additional 8 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand an additional 10 minutes.
Garnish with parsley and lemon then serve immediately.
Serves 6 to 8.