Outdoor Paella

Serves 8

The beauty of paella is that it is so adaptable. It is meant to be a dish that includes ingredients available in your location and in season. This recipe reflects the fall bounty of Ohio. Please note that this recipe can be done inside, in an oven. The biggest change would be to decrease the broth to 6 cups. Brown everything on the stovetop, add the rice and broth, bring to a simmer and bake at 350º for 50–60 minutes. For this authentic outdoor version, I referenced Martha Rose Shulman’s excellent book, Spain and The World Table, produced with the Culinary Institute of America.

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 8–10 chicken thighs
  • 1 ½ pounds spicy sausage, cut into
  • 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 large red pepper, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup pitted green olives
  • 1 head garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 8–9 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
  • 3 cups long grain rice, preferably bomba

Prepare a wood fire. Heat oil in a large paella pan over the hottest portion of the fire. Brown the chicken and sausage over a medium-high spot for 8–10 minutes, or until well browned. Add onion, pepper, zucchini, tomatoes, olives and garlic and cook about 15 minutes over medium heat. Add 8 cups broth or water, cover, move to a hot spot and bring to a boil. Add paprika, salt, red pepper flakes and saffron. Sprinkle in the rice, avoiding the meat. Stir once only to combine. Cook, uncovered and turning a quarter turn every 5 minutes for 10 minutes over the hottest part of the fire. Move to a less hot spot and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, or until rice is tender. Add additional water if needed but do not stir. Remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes.