This spicy seafood and smoked meat paella won a Throwdown style competition in 2015 when Philadelphia chef and FoodNetwork Throwdown contestant, Delilah Winder of Delilah's Restaurant, surprised and challenged Darryl Smith to a paella competition in front of over 200 guests at Darryl's annual Memorial Weekend Party. Darryl's spicy paella won over the crowd and the judges! This recipe has a seafood mixture of lobster, scallops, shrimp, fish, mussels and clams along with spicy smoked pork sausage and chicken and is simmered in a spicy homemade shellfish stock. Darryl uses arborio rice for his competition version of this dish.
Darryl's Competition Winning Paella
- Servings: 10 oz
- Yield: 10-12 servings
- Prep Time: 1 hr 15 min
- Cooking Time: 1 hr
- 1 lb dense spicy pork sausage, like andouille, sliced on a bias, about ½" thick
- Four 8 oz lobster tails, quartered
- 4 – 5 boneless chicken thighs, chopped into 1” pieces
- 1 lb firm white fish, like orange roughy, chopped into 1” chunks
- 1 lb diver scallops, cut into 1” pieces
- 1 lb jumbo shrimp, 15-20 count, peeled and deveined
- 1 dozen little neck clams, fresh is best (frozen is fine)
- 1 lb black mussels, fresh is best (frozen is fine)
- One roasted red pepper, cut into 1” strips
- 1 red bell, 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- One lemon, quartered
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 cup green peas (frozen is fine)
- 6 cups shellfish (or chicken) stock, seasoned with 1 teaspoon Spanish saffron threads, and 1 tablespoon Sambal Olek chili paste, simmered
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt, cracked black pepper and Cajun spice to taste
- In a 24” round paella pan or your largest sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add the pork sausage, browning on all sides.
- Remove the sausage, and add the onions, bell peppers and celery and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Push the mixtures to the edges of the pan and add the chicken to the center of the pan, browning lightly on both sides. Season with Cajun spice.
- Add the sausage back into the pan and incorporate all of the ingredients.
- Again, push the mixture to the edges and add the fish, lobster and scallops to the center of the pan and lightly brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Season with Cajun spice.
- Reincorporate all of the ingredients with the fish and again push the mixture to the edge of the pan.
- Add the arborio rice to the center and allow to coat with the pan juices, then incorporate the rice with the mixture.
- Add the spicy saffron flavored stock, about 2 cups at a time and stir the entire mixture to distribute the rice evenly.
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil and simmer on low, medium heat for 15 minutes.
- Add the shrimp, clams and mussels in a spiral pattern, cover with the foil and allow the shellfish to steam open for 5 – 7 minutes.
- Squeeze the juice of the quartered lemons into the mixture and wedge the lemons around the pan
- Add the roasted pepper strips and the peas last to maintain the bright color, turn off the heat and cover with foil for 10 minutes to rest before serving.