Paella on the Beach   

By Jan Buhrman, The Kitchen Porch

Step-by-step paella

Perfect for beach dinner parties, paella is terrific because it feeds a crowd, is fun to cook, and is easy to serve straight from the pan. I love paella served with a chilled dry rosé from Navarra or Rioja. I wait until the fire have a slow glow with a light flame.  I add small pieces of wood to keep it going throughout the process. The paella takes one hour and I prep all the ingredients and put them in zip lock bags ready to go into the pan.  You can do this over your stove top, but you will not have a smokey flavor.

Serves 10

1 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

I whole pastured chicken cut into 10 pieces (cut the breast into 4 pieces), seasoned with

salt, pepper, and paprika.

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, medium diced

2 leeks, diced

1 fennel, medium diced

½ cup triple sec plus ½ cup white wine

1 red pepper, diced

3 tomatoes, diced

2 1/2 cups Bomba rice (short-grain Arborio can be substituted)

4-6 cups warm stock, in 2 parts, recipe follows

3 roasted garlic bulbs (with skins left on, rub with oil and roast for 35 minutes)

24 clams

1# fish

24 mussels

24 shrimp, size 16/20 (You cannot always get sustainable shrimp, but baby Maine shrimp

can be sprinkled on just before serving.)

2 cups vegetables (depending on what is available, use green beans, zucchini, corn, peas)

1/4 cup chopped herbs (parsley and chives)

2 lemons

1. Heat 1 cup olive oil in the paella pan. Sear and cook the chicken skin side down about 15 minutes; then remove and set aside.

 

2. The sofrito provides the flavor base for the paella and is a combination of aromatic

ingredients that have been cut into small pieces, then slowly sautéed: Add 1/2 cup olive

oil to the pan by pouring it in a circular motion around the pan until it pools nicely in the

center. Add garlic, onion, leek, fennel, and red pepper, and cook for about 10 minutes.

3. Add tomatoes, and sauté sofrito ingredients until cooked through and beginning to

Caramelize. Add ½ c triple sec. And 1 cup of white wine.Allow to cook for  10 minutes..Add the rice and cook, stirring until the rice begins to show transparency around the

edges, about 5 minutes (add more olive oil if the rice is dry). Spread the rice evenly

around the pan and pour half the warm stock over the rice. Add whole garlic. Add chicken, and cook 15 minutes, adding liquid as needed as the rice soaks up the stock. Add

clams (hinge side down) and fish, and cook 20 minutes. Add mussels (hinge side down),

shrimp, and vegetables. Add more stock as needed. Simmer until rice is cooked, tending

fire and rotating pan as needed. There’s no need to stir.

4. As soon as stock is absorbed, check to make sure all foods are cooked through and/or

shells are open. If not, add a bit more stock. Then cover with foil with a towel on top of

the foil. This is the tricky part because it’s important to get the rice to toast on the bottom

of the pan (socarrat) so it is key not to add too much stock. You should smell the toasting

of the rice when it’s done.

5. Unveil the paella and sprinkle with fresh herbs and squeeze lemon juice on top. Serve

immediately, or cover with foil and a towel and let rest up to 1 hour.

Stock for paella

The key to a great rich paella stock is to start with a chicken carcass.

1 chicken carcass

1 pound mussel shells

36–48 shrimp shells

3 pounds leeks

1 pound carrots

1 pound celery

A few bay leaves

3 gallons water

1 bottle white wine (750 ml) of Sauvignon Blanc

1 cup (or about 2 medium) onions

1 pound chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon saffron

1 tablespoon Raz el Hanout

1. In a large pot without a lid, bring the first eight ingredients to a low boil and then

simmer on low heat for two hours. After two hours strain out the solids. (If you leave the

solids in too long, it becomes cloudy and bitter.)

2. Return the stock to the pot and add wine and simmer for another hour until the stock is

reduced by one half.

3. In a pan with olive oil add chopped onions, peppers and garlic  and saute for 15 - 20 minutes. Add tomatoes, saffron, and Raz el Hanout and stock.

THIS is the stock for the paella.

We serve a nice chopped salad and baguettes

Carol Sapoznik
Life happens in the “and” moments – the places where we let more in, allow new directions of thought, create connections, remain open to all possibilities.
After 4+ decades at Crate & Barrel, I'm writing on retail, travel, marketing, the arts, causes that matter, & everything along this journey forward.

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