How to Make Grilled Surf and Turf Paella

Grilled Surf and Turf Paella
Yes, you really can make a killer surf and turf paella over an open flame.Derek Wolf and overthefirecooking.com

Grilled paella? Yes! It’s surprisingly simple to fire up a pan of the traditional Spanish crowd-pleaser. Just make sure to let the bottom layer get deliciously scorched.

Here’s what you’ll need: A standard 15-inch steel paella pan with handles. If you go bigger, make sure it’ll still sit flat on your grill.

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You’ll read in the instructions below that once the paella begins to cook, you need to keep your hands off—and we mean it. As the rice cooks, the grains form a loose connection. But if you get impatient and stir them, you ruin that precious connection and could ultimately change the texture of the grain, which compromises the final product.

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Should you want to lighten things up, try our five savory and satisfying twists on the classic paella recipe. (Hint: They all feature a different whole grain that won’t blow your macros—or skimp on flavor.) And check out these other top BBQ tips from the world’s best pit masters.

How to Make Surf and Turf Grilled Paella

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  • 5 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 8 oz. chorizo, sliced into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly diced
  • 3 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, roughly diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly diced
  • ½ cup sherry
  • 1½ cups paella rice (aka bomba rice)
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 12 clams, cleaned
  • 12 mussels, cleaned
  • 10 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 lemons
Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in paella pan on medium-heat grill. Add chicken and cook about 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Add chorizo and brown, another few minutes.
Add 3 Tbsp. olive oil. Add onion, scallions, bell pepper, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.
Deglaze pan with sherry, scraping pan to loosen any burned bits.
Add rice, red pepper flakes, and tomatoes. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes.
Add stock, saffron, and paprika. Mix well and cook for 15 minutes, but do not stir again until serving. (Seriously, even if you hear crackling noises from pan bottom. You want that noise.)
Tuck clams and mussels, hinges down, into the cooking rice. Add shrimp. Continue cooking about another 15 minutes, rotating pan every few minutes. If heat doesn’t seem to be distributing evenly, you can close grill or cover pan with foil.
Once rice is tender and shellfish open, remove pan from grill. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Serve with lemon wedges, and make sure to dig up some of the prized socarrat—the caramelized crust on the bottom—for each serving.