Chef Esteban Escobar

Seafood Paella with Chef Esteban Escobar of Vino Vino – Austin, TX

In this video, Chef Esteban demonstrates how to make his seafood paella. He shares tips about properly cooking rice, seasoning proteins, and more. He has also included a recipe that should get you well on your way to making a delicious homemade paella! Chef Esteban cooks paella (both meat and seafood) every Sunday night at Vino Vino.


Chef Esteban’s Seafood Paella

Serves 4 to 6

2 cups Valencia rice
4-6 cups well-seasoned, high quality (preferably homemade) chicken stock
½ lb. Spanish-style fresh chorizo
½ lb. chicken thighs
½ lb. calamari tubes, cut into rings
2 lbs. mussels
8 large peeled and deveined shrimp
2 tablespoons Spanish saffron
4 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 medium diced onion
6 large chopped fresh tomatoes

Season the chicken thighs well in advance, up to a day prior. Bring the stock to a boil in a separate pot. Heat the paella pan over high heat and add oil. Once the oil starts to smoke slightly, being careful not to splash oil on yourself, drop in the chorizo and brown on all sides. Follow with the chicken thighs and again brown evenly. Next, add the calamari, which will not brown but begin to secrete liquid in the pan, at which time you can add the onion and the spices and stir. Once the saffron begins to color everything and the pan becomes fragrant, stir in the tomatoes and the rice. Thoroughly stir the rice to coat every grain. This will be the one and only time that you will stir. Be sure that the rice is in an even layer in the pan. At this time add just enough stock to cover the rice, making sure that the stock is well seasoned (do not season the rice, only the proteins and the stock). Bring the stock to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat as low as it will go and simmer. As the liquid evaporates and is absorbed by the rice, you will need to refresh the stock, keeping the parts that dry out moist. Meanwhile, season the shrimp. Once the rice is about 75 percent done (you will have to continually taste the rice and use your best judgment), about 20 minutes, place the mussels firmly in the rice and once again replenish the stock. Place the shrimp on top of the rice, as well. Cover the pan with foil and raise the heat to medium. Cook until the mussels have opened and the shrimp are cooked through, about 5 to 8 minutes. Uncover and remove any mussels that did not open. Boil off any excess stock and taste the rice for doneness.

Note: A paella pan, preferably over a heat source of the same diameter, will produce the best results for this recipe. Once you have mastered your paella technique, you can experiment with different proteins and stocks, such as omitting chicken for fish or scallops, and substituting shrimp or another seafood stock for chicken stock.