Lobster and Chorizo Paella
Combining sweet lobster meat with spicy chorizo, this paella is just right when you’re serving a crowd. Be sure to buy cured Spanish chorizo, rather than fresh Mexican chorizo, for this dish.
- 2 Tbs. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
- 4 live lobsters, each about 1 1/2 lb.
- 1/2 tsp. saffron threads
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/2 lb. Spanish chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 fennel bulbs, stalks removed, bulbs cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups Arborio rice
- 1 large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch strips
- 1/2 cup white wine
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbs. thinly sliced green onion
- Lemon wedges for serving
Bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat and add the 2 Tbs. salt. Add the lobsters one at a time, headfirst. Cover and cook until the lobsters are red, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer the lobsters to a large bowl filled with ice water and let cool completely. Reserve 7 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid. Separate the claws and tail from the bodies, reserving the bodies to make stock, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat an oven to 375ºF.
In a large cast-iron paella pan over medium heat, toast the saffron threads, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool, then crumble with your fingertips. Set aside.
In the paella pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the chorizo and sauté until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium, add the yellow onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add the rice, saffron, chorizo and bell pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until the grains are evenly coated with the onion mixture, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid is evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved cooking liquid, season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.
Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven. Bake until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the rice is just tender, 15 to 20 minutes more. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, nestle the lobster claws and tails in the rice.
To create a brown crust on the bottom of the rice, set the pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat and cook, turning the pan occasionally so the bottom browns evenly, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the paella with the green onion. Serve immediately with lemon wedges. Serves 8.