This Summer Seafood Paella recipe is absolutely stunning. From the fresh ingredients and dynamic flavors, to the cooking process and presentation, it’s truly magical.We recently took a family trip to New York for a wedding in Woodstock.
One of the highlights of the trip was a spectacular Summer Seafood Paella recipe. It was definitely one of the best summer seafood recipes I’ve ever had.
The day after the wedding, the bride’s mom invited all the guests to return to the house for paella made by her Spanish friend friend Silvia, a chef, caterer and cooking instructor.
Prep for the Summer Seafood Paella
When we arrived, I immediately spotted an enormous, shiny paella pan with its own special burner, sitting poolside, no less!
As I passed through the kitchen, I saw the prep area filled with fresh ingredients.
Then, back outside, I passed by these freshly cleaned clams and mussels, and this lobster, just hanging out on some ice, waiting to go into the seafood paella recipe.
Silvia’s Summer Seafood Paella
As the onions and peppers began to sizzle in olive oil, the excitement mounted. Silvia gracefully tossed in the mussels, followed by the clams and calamari. Once they opened up, she removed them from them pan.
Then fried tomato sauce was added to the pan, followed by stock — a lobster stock infused with saffron.
This summer seafood paella was getting better and better by the minute.
The lobsters were next, and it was dramatic.
The rice was added sometime between the stock and the lobsters.
The rice was Bomba rice, which is a Spanish short-grained rice that when cooked, expands in width, and is able to absorb three times its volume in liquid. (Silvia said she’d had it sent from Valencia, Spain just to make her Summer Seafood Paella!)
As far as summer seafood recipes go, this was shaping up to be one of the most exciting and beautiful I’ve ever seen.
After the stock and before the lobster, it started raining!
No big deal, though. Someone quickly placed a big umbrella on a stand over Silvia, the pan, and the prep.
By the time the paella was ready, it was pouring.
It took a few people to bring the paella into a tented tennis court, which was the dance floor at the wedding the night before.
I was too busy taking pictures and enjoying the “show” to ask too many questions about measurements. I’m pretty certain that Silvia makes this seafood paella recipe by memory — it seemed like second nature to her.
My Summer Seafood Paella Recipe
Below is my paella recipe, which Silvia inspired me to make.
My favorite way to cook paella is outdoors on the BBQ, which also makes for a fun party — everyone hangs around the BBQ watching, drinking, and chatting.
You can find every Spanish ingredient you need for paella at La Española.
I hope you enjoy this over-the-top Summer Seafood Paella Recipe!
Valentina's Seafood Paella
- olive oil for the pan
- 1 (approximately 2¾ pound) whole chicken, cut up, skin-off, bone-in
- 1 pound chorizo, sliced
- 1½ cups onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 6 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled, seeded, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads
- 5 cups Bomba rice
- approximately 3 quarts chicken stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1½ cups Piquillo peppers, roughly chopped
- 1½ cup peas
- ½ pound green beans, steamed
- 2 dozen medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail on
- 2 dozen Mediterranean mussels, beards removed, cleaned
- Coat a large paella pan (approximately 15-inches), with the olive oil. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for about a minute on each side, without browning. Pour about 1 quart of the stock over the chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover with foil, and cook for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the chicken form the pan and place on a baking sheet to cool. Pour the stock from the pan into a bowl and save it for later. Once the chicken is cool enough to touch, remove the meat from the bones into bite-sized pieces, and set aside.
- Over medium-high heat, add the chorizo to the paella pan and cook until it's nicely browned. Remove it from the pan and set it aside.
- Using a bit more olive oil if necessary, add the onions and garlic to the pan, and cook until the onions are soft, about 7 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the tomatoes, and add the paprika, saffron and rice, and stir to combine. Season generously with salt and immediately add the remaining stock, along with half of the sausage.
- Cook until most, but not all, of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Then stir in the rest of the sausage, the chicken, peppers, peas, green beans, and shrimp. Continue to cook until the shrimp is pink, and the rice has absorbed just about all the stock and is al dente.
- Finally, arrange the mussels around the edges of the paella pan and cover it with cheesecloth, gently tucking it into the rice along the sides. Continue to cook just until the mussels open.
- It's best to season the paella with salt and a bit of pepper as you work, because as the pan becomes more full with ingredients, it can become more difficult to stir.
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