You can set the pan directly on the rack of a charcoal grill or over a large gas burner. Doug Robertson-Ritchie of Jamon Jamon in London’s Portobello Road Market offers two tips for better paella: pour in all the chicken stock at once and stir only once. “The part that’s not easy is the socarrat, the crispy base,” says the cook. “That takes practice.” You need a 14- to 16-inch-wide paella pan.
|⅓||cup olive oil|
|½||pound Mexican or Spanish chorizo, sliced into ½-inch rounds|
|2||medium leeks, trimmed and coarsely chopped|
|3||cloves garlic, coarsely chopped|
|1½||cups short-grain white rice (Bomba or Valencia)|
|1||teaspoon smoked paprika|
|¼||teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in ¼ cup hot
|4||cups chicken stock|
|½||teaspoon salt, or more to taste|
|½||pound skinless and
boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
|½||pound skinless and boneless chicken breast, cut
into 1-inch pieces
|1||cup frozen peas, rinsed with cold water|
|1||red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped|
|1||medium tomato, cut into ½-inch strips|
|¼||cup chopped fresh parsley|
1. Prepare a charcoal grill (spread the coals evenly on the grate to approximately match the diameter of your paella pan). Start a second batch of coals in a charcoal chimney for backup. Or light a gas grill.
2. Set the paella pan on the heat. Add the olive oil and when it is hot, add the chorizo, leeks, and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until golden.
3. Add the rice and paprika. Cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
4. Pour on the saffron mixture, stock, and ½ teaspoon salt. Gently stir to evenly distribute the rice. Let the rice cook undisturbed for 8 to 10 minutes or until the rice starts to absorb the liquid. During cooking, rotate the pan every 3 or 4 minutes to ensure even cooking. If using charcoal, you may need to add some of the reserved hot coals at this stage. To do this, use hot pads to remove the dish from the grill. Add more coals, replace the rack, and resume cooking.
5. Scatter the chicken on the rice. Use the back of a spoon to submerge the pieces. Rotate the pan every few minutes. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the rice is almost tender.
6. Add the peas, bell pepper, and tomatoes, distributing them evenly. Continue to cook without stirring for 5 to 10 minutes more or until a crust forms on the bottom and sides of the pan (add more hot stock if the liquid evaporates before the rice is tender). Total cooking time is about 35 minutes.
7. Remove the pan, cover with foil, and set aside for 5 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the paella to release the crispy rice. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon. Adapted from Jamon Jamon