Dave’s Fish and Fowl Paella

Dave's Paella

Dave's Paella

This is my own version of  an authentic Spanish Paella that I’ve adapted and modified from recipes in Penelope Casas’ fine Spanish cookbook, The Foods and Wines of Spain, along with Mario Batali’s Paella recipe from the PBS series Spain – On the Road Again.

This recipe is adequate for four or five people and can certainly be scaled up if you have a larger paella pan. I use chicken wings, chicken sausage, mussels and shrimp as my toppings, but those are only suggestions.

Unlike Risotto, a paella should never be stirred during cooking. The reason is because the bottom layer of rice that is in contact with the paella pan forms a crust, and it is this crust that lovers of paella covet. While an authentic paella will require rice from the region of Valencia, I find that Goya medium grained rice makes an excellent substitute, and is considerably less expensive. Pimenton (smoked paprika) can be a bit difficult to find, but many grocery stores are beginning to carry it. Its use is important, as it gives the dish a subtle, smoky flavor that is one of the marks of a good paella.

Feel free to experiment and let me know what you think!

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  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade)
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 medium spanish onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, pureed
  • 8 chicken wings, segmented
  • 1 lb. Italian style chicken sausages, in 1/2 in slices
  • 12 large shrimp, shelled
  • 12 Mussels, scrubbed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon Sweet Pimenton (Spanish smoked Paprika)
  • 2 1/2 cups Spanish rice, such as Valencia or La Bomba (medium grained white rice is a good substitute)


  1. Roast the chicken thighs in a 375 degree oven until done.
  2. Remove casings from the chicken sausages and cut in 1/2 in slices. Fry in a Saute pan until done.
  3. Preheat a 15-inch Paella pan over medium-high heat–preferably over a heat source that can evenly heat the entire pan. I suggest removing the grills from your gas grill and cooking directly on the flavorizer bars (or whatever you want to call them) in order to get the pan closer to the heat source. A stove-top burner is too small.
  4. Add the oil and heat until smoking. Add the scampi and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  5. Add the onion to the pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato puree, stirring it into the onions, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the salt, saffron, pimentón, and halibut cubes, stirring for about 5 minutes.. Add the stock, bring to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the rice and stir well to distribute it evenly. Add the chicken sausage, chicken thighs, and mussels, arranging them in nicely, bring the stock back to a boil, and cook, without stirring, for 10 minutes.
  7. Reintroduce shrimp to paella, taste for salt and add it if needed, then cook, again without stirring, for 10-15 more minutes, or until the liquid is almost completely absorbed. Remove from the heat and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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3 Responses to Dave’s Fish and Fowl Paella

  1. Tim says:

    Hi David,

    Why do you propose cooking straight on the flavorizer bars and not just remove them and cook on the grill?

    If I look at the set up of the dedicated paella burners, there is at least some distance between the gas flame and the pan. The distance on my Genesis E-310 will be more than that but since your recipee call for cooking over medium heat, you can crank the heat up a bit to still get the desired temperature. Also the increased distance would spread out the heat more evenly I would think? Additionally my flavorizer bars are not so stable.

    Also do you have any experience with seafood paella’s? I overcooked my rice a bit last few times, I suspect it was because the clams and mussels gave of more moisture and I had to wait a bit too long until the moisture was gone. Also I have been cooking with the lid of the bbq mostly closed to get enough heat. Hopefully if I try this set up that won’t be needed anymore.

    tnx for any adivce

    • David Lister says:

      Cooking directly on the flavorizer bars, for me, is the thing that allows me to use a weber gas grill and leave the lid open. I have not tried removing the flavorizer bars and cooking up higher on the grill, but I have two thoughts about that. first, obviously, the bars are not needed to keep things from flaming up because technically I”m not grilling, so it might work. But conversely, I believe rather strongly that the distance from the heat source if I cook up higher, on the grill, I think it will be harder to get a decent socarrat. I am happy with the outcome I am getting using the method I describe in the recipe. Regarding seafood and the increased liquid you are seeing, I think you need to compensate on the liquid you are adding to your paella to account for the liquid that is exuding from whatever seafood you use. Good luck!

      • Tim says:

        ok, I tried it. First I tried three different trial set ups and just boil water
        1) on the grill
        2) on the flavorizer bars
        3) on the flavorizer bars but removed those that don’t have a gas pipe directly below them.
        I measured the temp with a laser gun. Did not seem to make a difference. I actually ruined my old paella pan with test number 3. Bottom is now disformed, wavy. But I did try it approach number 2 with real paella and it came out good! love it! Thanks! Moved the pan around a bit to compensate for any uneven heating. But I can’t move it much anyways (only rotating a bit) because it’s an 18.5 inch pan which is about the max that set up with take. Thanks!

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