Mixed Paella (with Chorizo!)


Paella over fire #moonlitkitchen #paella @foodandwine #tienda

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Paella is a marvelous dish. It is the king of dishes in Spain. There are so many types of paella, black, white, Valencian, seafood, etc. This recipe would be a “mixed” paella since it has both meat and seafood. It is also not necessarily traditional, since it as chorizo in it. As far as I can tell, Jamie Oliver (who is decidedly not Spanish) was one of the first to post a paella recipe with chorizo, and he took a lot of flack for it. The reality is that it’s delicious so I don’t care.

I started trying to make paella about a year ago, and initially found it to be quite tricky. I started out by trying different recipes that I found online. Each batch I made tasted sort of bland. It didn’t have the richness and hit-your-gut power of the authentic paellas I had had before.

first paella

Here is a shot of my first paella, you can see the undercooked tomatoes

I learned a few things, first, you need a lot of heat when cooking paella. Cook it fast and hot. The other is that the heat needs to come from the bottom, recipes that use an oven don’t seem to yield the right results. The biggest learning came as a sort of epiphany. I realized that paella is like any other Latin stew. From French cassoulet to the Argentine guisos that I am so fond of, paella is just a stew that has had it’s liquid absorbed with a starch. Once I realized this, then I let go of following a recipe and just let my instincts run the show. I suggest doing the same. Think of this recipe as a guide, but improvise and adjust to your own style and preferences.

Some thoughts on setup: In the end I purchased a 22” paella pan. You don’t have to use a paella pan, any large skillet will do, but I ended up being very happy with the one I chose (I bought this one). Here is a smaller one on Amazon that will work on a stovetop. I ended up purchasing a stand to cook directly over a fire too. This allows me more heat and a smoky flavor when I’m finished. It’s also closer to the authentic preparation that makes paella great!

Any way you do it, have fun and invite someone over to share!

Mixed Paella with Chorizo (sized for 18-22” pan)

Cooking oil

2 lbs. – Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed

1 lbs. – Spanish chorizo, loose

2 – Large onions, diced

1 head – Garlic, minced

1 – Large green or red pepper, diced

6-8 cups – Chicken broth (I use homemade broth, find something good!)

1 Tbsp. – Whole black peppercorns

1 Tbsp. – Tumeric

2 Ribs – Celery stalks, whole

4-5 strands – Saffron

1/4 cup – Butter

2 Tbsp. – Sweet paprika

1 Tbsp. – Oregano

3 – Bay leaves

1/2 cup – Tomato paste

1 cup – Fresh parsley, minced

2 cups – Bomba or Arborio rice

1 lb. – Shrimp

2 lbs. – Littleneck clams

1 lb. – Bay scallops (optional)

1 cup – Peas

1 – Lemon, cut into wedges

2 cups – Paprika alioli (recipe follows)

Prep all ingredients. Shell shrimp, reserve shells. Heat the broth. Add peppercorns, reserved shrimp shells, tumeric, bay leaves, celery, and saffron strands. Let stand for 10-15 minutes, strain and keep hot. Place the clams in a bowl of cold water. This will help the clams to expel any sand.

Heat your paella pan at maximum heat (if using fire, wait until the fire is good and hot), add a generous amount of oil (1/2 – 1 cup). Add chicken and chorizo and saute until just browned.

Paella is a go. #moonlitkitchen #latienda #paella

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Add the onion, garlic, and pepper and saute until soft and the onions are clear. Add shrimp and saute lightly. Stir in the butter, tomato paste, oregano, paprika, and parsley. Once hot, push all ingredients to the side of the pan. Remove all ingredients from the pan, store in a dish and keep warm. Add an additional 1/4 cup of oil in the clear side of the pan and add the rice. Stir continually, toasting the rice. Stir the ingredients together, toast a bit more. Add half of the broth, stirring continually until the broth dissolves. Add the reserved meat mixture. Stir and taste for salt (add more as needed). Add the remaining broth, peas, and scallops; stir well. Once the broth is half dissolved, add the clams, slit side up.

Paella over fire! #moonlitkitchen #paella #foodandwine #tienda

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Once the broth is gone and the clams are all opened (discard any that don’t), remove from heat and let rest. Serve with lemon wedges and alioli.


Paprika Alioli

3 – Eggs, room temperature

1/2 Tbsp. – Smoked paprika

1 clove – Garlic

1 tsp. – Black pepper

1 Tbsp. – Salt

3 Tbsp. – Lemon juice

Light Oil (light vegetable, canola, safflower, etc.)

Add eggs, paprika, garlic, pepper to a blender, blend smooth. Leave the blender running on low. Cover all but one corner of the blender, then begin drizzling oil in. Continue to add oil until the mixture emulsifies (about 2-3 cups). Once the mixture is very thick, stir in lemon juice and salt. Taste and add more juice and salt to taste.

Keeps for several weeks in the refrigerator. I like adding it to a squeeze bottle for easy serving.

Mother’s Day 2017 – 26 Course Dinner

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This year’s colors were red and brown

It’s that time of year again! Every year I do a tasting menu for Mother’s Day. Each year I try to top the previous year. This year was no different with several new touches. For one, this was the first year in my new kitchen, which meant a lot more room and use of the pizza oven! I also added some interesting plateware using wood (which you’ll see in some of the courses ahead).

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We had a great non-alcoholic drink menu, including this julep

Each year I have a group of friends who help me in the kitchen: plating, serving, cleaning, and photos. Thanks everyone! This year I formalized this a bit by assigning one friend as the “sommelier” (I don’t serve alcohol at my dinner so these were all virgin). I also had a “guest course” done by one of my friends. Lastly, I hired two kids to wash the dishes all night, which was a huge help and kept everything moving quickly.

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A ton of prep was done to make 26 course run smoothly! Here was the komacha squash, post coal roast

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Homemade bread baked in the wood fired hearth

Now, on to the courses!

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Courses 1-3 were canapés delivered together on a big slab of live edge western maple.

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1st Course – Capicola with Aged Irish Cheddar

House cured capicola with a smoked paprika alioli, toasted homemade sourdough baguette, aged Irish cheddar, and cornichons.


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2nd Course – Eggs and Caviar

This was probably my favorite course of the night! Gently coddled eggs, homemade crème fraiche, toasted brioche, and sturgeon caviar.


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3rd Course – Salmon Caviar

Salmon caviar, dill, crème fraiche, and sourdough toast.


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4th Course – Grilled Scallops

Fresh, locally sourced pink scallops, roasted in the pizza oven ever so lightly to be semi-crudo, with parmesan, capers, and fresh olive oil.


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5th Course – Sunchoke

Smoky roasted sunchoke with a truffled white bean dip served on a warm brick.


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6th Course – Kale Babka

Babka bread filled with kale, fennel tops, and mustard, served with whipped chevre.


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7th Course – Oyster Mushroom

Baby flambéed oyster mushroom with chevre on a sourdough toast.


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9th Course – Littleneck Clams

Littleneck clams in a chardonnay chicken broth with prosciutto.


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9th Course – Blackened Beet

Beets, blackened on a grill, beet greens, and chevre


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10th Course – Spot Prawn

Locally sourced Pacific-Northwest spot prawn with cured lemon, and thyme


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11th Course – Cacio e Pepe

Fresh duck egg angel hair pasta with pepper and parmesan. This simple course was amazing in its simplicity, richness, and bright flavors.


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12th Course – Roasted Root Vegetables with Browned Butter

Roasted parsnips, carrots, turnips, and celeriac root roasted with browned butter.


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13th Course – Grilled Octopus

Grilled octopus with chimicurri. This octopus came out tender, smoky, and crispy.


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14th Course – Kombacha Squash

Coal roasted kombacha squash with homemade yogurt, honey, and toasted seeds from the squash itself.


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15th Course – Crab

Dungeness crab, pine nut milk, and pine tips.


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16th Course – Bento Box

This was a “guest course” prepared by my friend and annual dinner collaborator. This was a tiny bento box with tuna, and aged quail egg.


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17th Course – Grenouille

Frogs legs with a garlic leek soup.


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18th Course – Pork Belly

Roasted pork belly, cashew coconut sauce, snow peas, and broccoli.


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19th Course – Bread and Schmaltz

Rustic whole wheat sourdough bread with a smoky chicken schmaltz and drippings.


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20th Course – Short Rib and Gnocchi

Gnocchi, Fontina fonduta, black truffle, and short ribs.


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21st and 22nd Courses – Petit Fours “Pie”

“Pecan Pie” pate de fruit with pecans, dates, cinnamon, and nutmeg

“Peach Pie” Macaron


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23rd Course – Trio of Gelato

3 Gelatos served on a chilled granite slab.





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24th Course – “Hot Chocolate”

72% dark, single bean chocolate foam with freeze dried raspberry.

I figured the best part of a good hot chocolate is the foam, so why not just have foam.


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My tired dishwashers at the end of the night.

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25th – Bread Pudding

Brioche coconut bread pudding with sweet cream gelato, guava curd, salted coconut caramel.


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26th Course – Truffles

To finish off the night I served raspberry dark chocolate truffles on a bed of cocoa nibs.


It was a wonderful night with fun had by all. I was asked several times by different people why I go to all that work for one night. My answer is that it’s a labor of love, where the expense, time, and effort are paid in time and enjoyment with good friends over good food. Until next year!

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Finally sitting down after a very long night!