Top | Kathleen Bauer

Paella on the Grill

(recipe, Kathleen Bauer)

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This recipe is for a paella with Spanish chorizo and mussels, but you should feel free to substitute your own favorite seafood (just don't use Mexican chorizo, an entirely different kind of sausage). For more on making this recipe, see the accompanying article, "Paella makes a party."


  1. ⅛ tsp. (large pinch) saffron
  2. ½ cup dry white wine
  3. 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  4. 1 large yellow or white onion, chopped
  5. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1 red, yellow, or green bell pepper (or combination), chopped
  7. 1 lb. chicken thighs, chopped in 1-inch pieces
  8. 8 oz. Spanish chorizo, sliced into ⅛-inch slices
  9. 3 to 4 cups arborio or bomba rice
  10. 1 to 2 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  11. ½ cup green olives, cut into thirds
  12. 6 to 8 cups chicken or fish stock
  13. Salt and pepper to taste
  14. 12 to 18 1.0 lb. mussels or steamer clams


  1. Place saffron in small bowl. Pour wine on top and allow to infuse at least 10 minutes while prepping other ingredients.
  2. Build fire in barbecue grill. Once coals are hot, place paella pan on the grill about 4 inches above coals. Pour in olive oil and heat till shimmering, then add chopped onions, garlic and pepper and sauté till tender. Add chicken pieces and brown lightly, then add chorizo and sauté till warmed. Stir in smoked paprika. Add rice and stir for 2 minutes, then add olives, saffron/wine mixture, and stock until it just covers the rice mixture. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Place grill cover on the barbecue and cook for approximately 20 minutes without stirring, checking occasionally to make sure rice doesn’t get too dry. Add more stock as needed, allowing brown crust to form on bottom and sides without burning. Before rice is completely done, add mussels or clams hinge-side down so they stand up in the pan and their juices run into the paella. Serve when shells open and meat inside is cooked, approximately 3 minutes.


If you wish, you may place a sprig of rosemary atop all the other ingredients and let it cook with the rice.