Paella Roja

Courtesy of Le Creuset.
Serves 6-8

  • 8 head-on prawns, deveined and tails peeled
  • 2 lobster tails, halved lengthwise
  • Salt and black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • Scant ½ teaspoon saffron
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 pound tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup (about 4) roasted red peppers, minced
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 cups short-grain rice, preferably bomba rice
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup capers
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ pound calamari, sliced into rings
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Preheat grill to high heat. Season prawns and lobster with salt, pepper, and sweet paprika.

In a grill-safe saucepan, or large paella pan, heat the chicken broth with saffron. Heat for at least 10 minutes to infuse the broth with flavor and color.

Meanwhile, brush the prawns and lobster with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and place on the grill to sear. The lobster should be flesh-side down.

Cook until grill marks form, but not until cooked all the way through. Remove and set aside.

Remove the broth from the grill. Lower heat to medium-high and place the paella pan on the grill. Add the remaining olive oil to the paella pan. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add garlic, tomatoes and red pepper, stirring often. Cook for about 8 minutes, and then add the smoked paprika. This creates a thick, flavorful sofrito that will add depth to the paella.

Add rice to the pan and cook about 1 minute. Stir in white wine.

Ladle 6 cups of the warm chicken broth into the paella pan and season with salt. (Reserve 2 cups in case more liquid is needed.) Distribute the rice evenly across the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the capers and bay leaves. At this point, do not stir the rice anymore.

Check the texture of the rice. If it is too al dente, add more broth, ½ cup at a time, until tender. Gently nestle the prawns, lobster and calamari into the rice, along with another ½ cup of broth. Close the lid on the grill and continue to cook, without stirring, until the seafood becomes opaque and the rice has absorbed all the liquid.

Remove the pan from the heat. Cover with aluminum foil and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Remove the bay leaves. Garnish with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.