Starchy, medium-grain rice is the key here. Choose Valencia, Bomba or Calasparra if you can, though arborio is a good, easy-to-find substitute. The chorizo should be the dry-cured, smoked Spanish variety, not the spicier fresh Mexican type. Use a good sherry (never cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink), and look for pimentón in specialty shops – it is sometimes called smoked paprika. If you want a richer-tasting paella, stir in a little cold butter after adding the peas.
1/4 cup Spanish olive oil, divided
2 onions, diced
2 cups chopped fresh tomato (about 3-4 medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced, divided
2 pinches saffron threads
3 cups Valencia rice (arborio is a good substitute)
4 cups chicken stock, boiling
4 cups boiling water
2 teaspoons salt
2 pounds mussels, washed and debearded
1-1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled (tail left on), split and deveined
1/2 bone-in chicken, cut up (breast halved, leg, thigh, wing)
4 ounces Spanish chorizo, chopped
1/2 cup Oloroso or Amontillado sherry
1 cup fresh peas or thawed frozen peas
1 tablespoon pimentón (smoked paprika)
1/2 cup fresh herbs, chopped (parsley, oregano, rosemary & basil)
6-8 lemon wedges
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, tomato, 1 tablespoon garlic and saffron, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes or until tender but not browned. Add the rice and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes more. Add the boiling stock, boiling water, and salt. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 25 minutes or until the rice is tender.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a saute pan. Sauté remaining 1 tablespoon garlic, mussels, shrimp, chicken, and sausage until the mussels open (depending on the size of your pan, you may need to do this in batches). Deglaze the pan with sherry (add sherry to pan, scraping to loosen any browned bits, and cook until sherry reduces by half). Stir in the peas and pimenton.
Place rice in a serving dish or platter and top with shellfish/meat mixture. Be sure to evenly distribute the liquid over the rice.
Sprinkle with pimentón and fresh herbs. Garnish with herb sprigs and lemon wedges.