Paella on the Kettle


Rich G

TVWBB Honor Circle
I've had a long love affair with paella, but always thought it was a bit more than I could do myself until a trip to Spain in 2016. A friend of my wife's walked me through the whole process (in Spanish, which I don't speak.....we communicated via food and hand gestures!), while cooking up an amazing Valencian paella for our two families. It took me two years after we got back for me to make my first one, and three more years after that for the second. The third only took two weeks! :) I thought I'd share my recipe and process here since there wasn't a lot of detailed instruction for cooking this dish on the grill when I first did it......

My starting point is THIS RECIPE, and I just make variations on the "add-ins" depending on what we feel like or have on hand. This recipe is for a Paella Mixta which has some seafood, chicken and chorizo for the protein.


1 2/3 cups Bomba
5 cups chicken stock
25 threads saffron
4 Tbsp olive oil
3-4 pieces chicken
1 link soft Spanish chorizo
2 1/2 tsp spanish paprika
5 cloves minced garlic
1 1/4 cups chopped/grated onion
1 1/8 cup grated tomato
16 shrimp
10 clams
1-2 handfuls green beans
1 can butter beans
Salt to taste

Here is the general process:

Heat stock to/near boiling. Crush saffron and add to stock to steep.

To prepare grill: Fill a charcoal chimney with briquettes, and light. When the coals are fully ashed over, arrange in the bottom of the grill in a single layer just smaller than the circumference of your paella pan. ***EDIT: I should have clarified that my bottom vent was wide open, and this is a lid off cook. You want the fire to start hot to brown all the ingredients, and get the stock/rice boiling, then just naturally die down to a simmer as the rice finishes cooking.

Place pan onto grill above hot coals, and add olive oil to pan. When hot, add chicken and fry until golden brown, season with salt/pepper. When chicken is brown, push to sides of pan, and both kinds of beans. Sauté the beans for a few minutes, then add garlic and onions and sauté for a few minutes.

Add chorizo and cook to heat, then add rice and stir until well coated with oils. Add paprika and grated tomato, stir for a few minutes (DO NOT BURN!) then add stock to pan. Stir lightly to evenly distribute rice, bring to a boil, and let boil for 8 minutes.

Nestle shrimp down into cooking rice, and continue to simmer for another 7-8 minutes. Add the clams about 5-6 minutes later. Once rice is well cooked and liquid is absorbed, listen for sizzle/crackle of soccarat forming. Let go for another minute, then remove and cover for 10 minutes.

****NOTE: Your rice may take more time, and possibly will need more liquid. When the original liquid is almost gone, test a few grains of rice to determine if it is cooked to the level you prefer. If not, cook longer, and add a bit more liquid if needed to ensure you don't burn it.

Here are a few pictures that should help solidify the process above......

Ingredients ready to go (this is important, cooking goes quickly until the rice goes in):

My grill setup using charcoal holders to contain the charcoal in the middle (you don't have to take your middle grate out, mine fell out....):


Chicken is in to brown....I turned every couple of minutes for six minutes, then push to the side of the pan for two more before removing:


Chicken to the side, beans in for 2-3 minutes:


Onions and garlic in, cook these until their liquid is virtually gone:


Add the chorizo, brow lightly on one side, then the other:


Tomato and paprika go in next.....make sure you don't burn this!!!:


Next up is the Bomba rice, which gets stirred in with everything to evenly distribute, and coat with the remaining oil in the pan:


Add the stock/saffron you had simmering (slowly so the rice is not disturbed), and return chicken to pan:


After 8-10 minutes, the shrimp went in (push them into the rice), but I didn't get a here's what it looked like right BEFORE the shrimp:


Add the clams a few minutes later, and flip the shrimp after a few minutes, too:


Here is what was left of my charcoal setup when I was done:


.....and, the final product:


This particular time out, the rice took 32 minutes to get where I like it, and I added about a cup of additional water to get it there. I think I didn't start cooking with the fire as hot as last time, so needed a bit more heat at the end to get through to the finish.

I hope some of you try this out. If you do, share a photo here, or create another recipe if your creation is really different.

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Nice detailed write-up. I noticed that you cut back on the amount of Chorizo from your Paella post from a week or so earlier, any particular reason? Also, I can't find Spanish Chorizo where I live what do you suggest as a substitute, Andouille? Thanks.
Nice detailed write-up. I noticed that you cut back on the amount of Chorizo from your Paella post from a week or so earlier, any particular reason? Also, I can't find Spanish Chorizo where I live what do you suggest as a substitute, Andouille? Thanks.
This one was a bit of what I like to eat, and what my wife/kids like to eat. My wife told me when I made that last one that I could put less chorizo in it since she doesn't eat it, so it's really just for me. So, I cut back on it, and guess who ate it all....!!!! ;)

Andouille would work, really any sausage that you like would likely work just fine. In all honesty, a true Spanish paella master would turn his/her nose up at the idea of chorizo in a paella anyway......but, I like it, so in it goes! :)

I'm sure you could order it online, but that would very likely be an expensive proposition.

Great cook! That’s next on my list of new things to cook on the grill. I just bought a pan and plan on using a recipe I recently saw on ATK for paella on the grill.
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You inspired me. I forgot the peas and the pan was too full for the mussels so we eat them as an appetizer. I may need a bigger fry pan...