This over-the-top Americanized paella gets its smoky kick from paprika and chorizo. Why "Americanized"? Traditional paella valenciana, as documented by David Rosengarten in "The Art of Paella", usually contains rabbit, snails, and chicken.
What You Will Need
- 30 threads saffron, crushed (a scant 1/2 tsp.)
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2" pieces
- 10 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 oz. dry-cured Spanish chorizo, cut into 1/4"-thick coins
- 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 3 medium tomatoes, minced
- 1 small onion, minced
- 7 cups chicken broth
- 2 1⁄2 cups short-grain rice, preferably Valencia or bomba
- 8 oz. fresh or frozen peas
- 3 jarred roasted red peppers, torn into 1/2"-thick strips
- 12 mussels, cleaned and debearded
- 1 (9-oz.) box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
Put saffron and 1⁄4 cup hot water in a small bowl; let sit for 15 minutes. Season chicken and shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 16"–18" paella pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken, shrimp, and chorizo and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a plate, leaving meats in pan. Add paprika, garlic, bay leaves, tomatoes, and onions to pan and cook, stirring often, until onions soften, about 6 minutes. Add reserved saffron mixture and broth, season with salt, and bring to a boil over high heat.
Sprinkle in rice, distribute evenly with a spoon, and add artichokes, peas, and peppers. Cook, without stirring, until rice has absorbed most of the liquid, 10–12 minutes. (If your pan is larger than the burner, rotate it every two minutes so different parts are over the heat and the rice cooks evenly.) Reduce heat to low, add reserved shrimp, and nestle in mussels hinge side down; cook, without stirring, until mussels have opened and rice has absorbed the liquid and is al dente, 5–10 minutes more. Remove pan from heat, cover with aluminum foil, and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.