In Spain, traditional paella is made outside on a wood-burning grill – the paella soaks in the smokiness. Don’t overload your pan, the rice should be the star. Check that your paella pan fits in the smoker before you get started. You want the smoker to be about 400 F and the liquid to simmer, otherwise raise the heat.
8 skinless chicken thighs, on the bone, excess fat trimmed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 Spanish onion, chopped
1 red pepper, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 chorizo sausages, sliced in half moons
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tsp hot smoked Spanish paprika
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 cups finely chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
2 cups short grain rice, Valencia (Spanish) or arborio
4 to 5 cups hot chicken stock or water
1 tsp saffron threads
1 lb shrimp, shelled
1 cup peas, defrosted if frozen
1 lb clams
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tbsp oil in large skillet or 15-inch paella pan on medium-high heat on grill or stovetop. Add chicken pieces and fry 3 minutes per side or until golden. Remove from skillet. Reserve. Add 2 more tbsp oil. Add onion, pepper and chorizo and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic, paprika and thyme. Sauté for 1 minute. Add last tbsp oil. Sprinkle rice into pan. Sauté, stirring frequently for two to three minutes or until coated with oil. Stir in tomatoes. Season well.
Combine stock and saffron and add 4 cups stock reserving the remainder as needed. Bring to boil, boil, reduce heat to medium, return chicken and push down into rice. Transfer to smoker. Cover with lid. Smoke 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is al dente. Stir rice around and add shrimp, peas and clams. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes longer or until clam shells open. Remove from heat.
Sprinkle with parsley and garnish with lemon wedges.