I have been making Paella for many years. Today I am making a Paella for 12 people. I will be cooking the Paella outdoors on my Paella Burner. My Paella pan is 21 inches in diameter measuring from the top edge of the pan. This size pan should feed between 8 and 12. It is my experience that the amount of rice plus other ingredients always feeds more people than indicated. I bet when we are all said and done for this group I will have plenty left over. Here is how to make Paella, step by step.
How to make Paella on a Paella burner
Figuring out the exact liquid needed must be accurate. You blow your ratio of liquid to rice and the Paella dish is not likely to be pleasing to your crowd. I use Spanish Bomba rice. Figure one third cup of Bomba rice per person. Bomba rice requires three times the amount of water. This means for every person I need one cup of liquid to go with the 1/3 cup rice. I need to measure out 12 cups of chicken broth for this dinner. Other Spanish rice for Paella, like Valencia, uses a 1/2 cup of rice to a cup of water per person.
I make a sofrito for the Paella a day or more before. It takes two hours to make a good sofrito. There are plenty of sofrito recipes on the Web. I use one that I found in César’s Cookbook: César: Recipes from a Tapas Bar. It calls for four white onions, four cups of diced tomatoes, 4 garlic cloves, and a teaspoon of saffron. Caramelize the onion in 1/4 cup of olive oil for one hour using low heat. Add chopped garlic and cook another 15 minutes. Add diced tomatoes and saffron, cook another 1 hour. This makes two to three cups. I freeze whatever I do not use. A Spanish chef once told me that the sofrito is the key to a fragrant Paella.
The Ingredients for a Paella party of twelve
- 24 chicken drumettes*
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 whole garlic bulbs, unpeeled
- 6 Spanish chorizo sausages, sliced across 1/4 inch thick
- 4 cups of Bomba rice
- 1 cup of sofrito
- 12 cups of chicken broth
- 2 TBS smoked paprika
- 2 TBS salt
- 36 jumbo shrimp
- 36 clams
- 36 mussels
- 1 medium bag frozen peas
- 2 cups of artichoke hearts, rinse.
- 1 jar of Piquillo pepper, sliced long about 1/3 of inch for garnish
- 3 lemons quarterd for garnish and squeezing on servings
* My local meat shop special orders a meaty size drumette for us. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. I cook the drummettes in the oven on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes at 375. They will finish cooking in the Paella.
- Prepare sofrito one day ahead
- Heat broth in separate pot and add the paprika to broth
- Pour olive oil over the whole surface of Paella pan
- Add garlic to the pan
- Saute chorizo for 2 to 3 minutes
- Add rice and mix with chorizo and oil
- Add the sofrito, mix with the rice, spread over the pan
- Add the salt
- Add the hot broth
- Add chicken in a circular arrangement around the pan
- Bring broth to a boil and then turn to a hard simmer – no stirring after this point
- When rice begins to swell, tuck in clams and mussels
- Add peas and artichokes
- Lay shrimp around and push down slightly
- Turn over the shrimp when the top side turns color
- When rice is done, garnish with the Piquillo peppers and lemons
- Let Paella sit for ten minutes before serving
Paella burner wind shield
Strong winds or a breeze with blow out the flame on your Paella burner. On a windy day, you must have a wind shield for your Paella Burner.
You can buy these on the Web but it is just as easy to make your own. I purchased the flashing in the photo below at Home Depot. I used duct tape to attach the flashing metal to the Paella burner. Total cost $20.
As you can observe, nothing fancy but it works and costs just a few dollars to make.