Memorial Day is about honoring and remembering all those that have served, fought, and died, protecting our nation's freedom. To help with the menu planning for this national holiday, here is Grilled Paella Mixta, a classic grilled rice dish from Spain. This recipe is the perfect choice to kick up the Memorial Day menu, sharing something lovely and different with your loved ones that served our country.

Grilled Paella Mixta is paella that contains a combination of seafood and meat, and in this case: shrimp, mussels, Spanish chorizo, and chicken. It is perfect for the barbecue because everything is cooked in the same pan absorbing the flavor of the fire. The only required equipment is a 15-inch paella pan which allows the rice and ingredients to be evenly cooked in a thin layer.

The rice, seafood, and meat are slowly simmered in a broth of onion, garlic, smoked Spanish paprika, saffron threads, tomatoes, and chicken broth yielding a complex and deep savor. Being a more complex dish, it will still only take about two hours to complete leaving most of the day to relax and hang out with friends and family. So, make sure to hoist the colors of our great nation, fire up the grill, and let's remember those who gave their lives for our liberty.

Serves: 6-8

Grilled Paella Mixta Ingredients

  • 2 medium, ripe tomatoes (about 12 ounces)
  • 16 large shrimp (about 12 ounces), peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (pimentón dulce)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces Spanish chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil, as needed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 cups paella rice (about 1 pound), sometimes labeled bomba or Valencia
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning the shrimp and chicken
  • 4 cups (1 quart) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 16 mussels, manila clams, or a combination, scrubbed
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 medium lemons, cut into 8 wedges each, for serving

Grilled Paella Mixta Directions

  1. Core and halve the tomatoes. Grate the flesh side of each half on the large holes of a box grater set over a medium bowl, stopping when you get to the skin. Discard the skins. You should have about 3/4 cup of tomato pulp and juice; set aside.
  2. Place the shrimp in a medium bowl, add 1/4 teaspoon of the paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and refrigerate.
  3. Place the chicken in a medium bowl and season generously with salt and pepper; set aside.
  4. Heat an outdoor grill to high (about 450°F to 550°F). Place a 15-inch paella pan on the grill, cover, and heat until hot, about 2 minutes. Add the chorizo to the pan, close the grill, and cook, occasionally stirring, until the sausage starts to brown and the fat is rendered about 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the chorizo to a large bowl; set aside.
  5. There should be a thin layer of rendered fat in the pan. If there's not enough, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the seasoned chicken to the pan in a single layer, close the grill, and sear, stirring, until both sides of the chicken pieces are golden brown, about 6 minutes total. (You will need to rotate the pan periodically on the grill to distribute the heat evenly.) Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to the bowl with the chorizo; set aside.
  6. Add the onion to the pan, season with salt and pepper, close the grill and cook, occasionally stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed on a gas grill or moving the paella pan to a cooler part of a charcoal grill so that the onions don't burn. Add the garlic, remaining 3/4 teaspoon paprika, and saffron, stir to combine and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  7. Add the reserved tomato pulp and juice and cook until the mixture has slightly darkened in color, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and measured salt and stir to coat in the tomato mixture.
  8. Add the broth and stir to combine. Arrange the rice mixture in an even layer. Distribute the reserved chorizo and chicken over the rice, adding any accumulated juices from the bowl. (Do not stir the rice from this point on.)
  9. Close the grill and bring the mixture to a lively simmer. Continue to simmer, occasionally checking, until the rice grains have swelled, most of the liquid has been absorbed, and the rice begins to make a crackling sound, about 12 minutes. (Make sure to rotate the pan occasionally to evenly distribute the heat, and adjust the heat as needed to maintain a lively simmer.)
  10. Arrange the reserved shrimp and the shellfish (hinge-side down) in the rice, slightly nestling. Close the grill and cook until the shellfish have opened, the shrimp are just cooked through, and the rice is tender but still al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  11. Remove the pan from the grill, cover with foil, and let stand for 5 minutes. Before serving the paella, discard any unopened shellfish and sprinkle the dish with the parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.

Taken from

May 23, 2022 — Jason Klein