The New Cookout: How to Host the Perfect Summer Paella Party

Crown Paella shares the recipe for an unforgettable backyard summer party.

By Kelly Clarke May 26, 2015 Published in the June 2015 issue of Portland Monthly

Nothing sings summer like a leisurely outdoor feast with friends. We tapped Heather Hollern of Quince Flowers & Events to dream up a chic, Northwest spin on a spicy Spanish paella feast—trading matador clichés for moody hues, log vases of spiky sedums, and tall carafes of sangria. Crown Paella catering pros Scott and Emily Ketterman re-created the iconic Valencian rice dish with a paprika-stained jumble of chicken, chorizo, and shellfish over a charcoal grill, endowing it with deep, savory flavors and a crunchy, caramelized bottom, and Ataula’s Angel Teta supplied a trio of crowd-pleasing sangrias.

Crown Royale Paella

(Serves 8)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1½ lbs skin-on chicken thighs, deboned and cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1½ lbs prawns or shrimp, shell on 
  • and deveined
  • 1 cup dried chorizo, thinly sliced
  • cups sofrito*
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1½ tsp saffron threads
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 10 canned piquillo peppers, quartered
  • 1½ lbs mussels, scrubbed and 
  • debearded
  • 1½ lbs clams, soaked in cold water for 15–20 minutes
  • 3½ cups Bomba rice
  • Lemons for serving

*Sofrito: Heat ¼ CUP OLIVE OIL in a skillet over medium-low heat, and sweat
2 CUPS MEDIUM-DICED GREEN BELL PEPPER, 2 CUPS MEDIUM-DICED ONION, and 2 CLOVES garlic, SLIVERED, until translucent. Add 2 CUPS TOMATO PURéE and gently simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has been cooked off, at least 30 minutes. (Sofrito can be made up to five days ahead.) 

1. Heat a paella pan (18 inches or wider) over a very hot charcoal grill. Add olive oil, add chicken and season with a pinch of salt, brown on both sides, and push to the edges of the pan. Add prawns, season with more salt, and cook until lightly colored. Add chorizo, sofrito, smoked paprika, and saffron, and stir everything together. 

2. Add chicken broth and the tablespoon of salt, and bring to a simmer. Sprinkle rice evenly over the top of the paella, making sure it is completely covered by broth, and cook for five minutes. Arrange piquillo peppers, mussels, and clams over the top of the paella. 

3. Continue to cook paella until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid and smells slightly toasted, about 30 minutes. Remove pan from the grill, cover it with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest for five minutes. Serve straight from the pan with lemon wedges and a drizzle of olive oil.

Too busy too cook? The Crown Paella crew will whip up a giant paella for your outdoor bash, wedding, or any other special event, on one of the high-output propane burners they import directly from Spain.

Sangria Trio

Behind the bar at soulful Spanish tapas house Ataula, Angel Teta mixes up an eye-opening sangria: sous-vide brandy infused with cinnamon, vanilla bean, apples, pears, orange and lemon peels, pimenton, salt, and rose hips, mixed with red wine and fresh citrus. Don’t try it at home. Instead, whip up one of her three simple-yet-refined alternatives, tailored to impress your friends at a summery soirée. Heck, make all three! 


  • 1 bottle Spanish red, like a Garnacha
  • 12.5 oz Fundador Brandy
  • 6.25 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot
  • 12.5 oz fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 6.25 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup, plus more to taste

Combine ingredients, grate cinnamon over the top, and use the orange and lemon peels from the citrus you juiced
as a garnish.


  • 1 bottle Spanish white, like an Albariño
  • 12.5 oz Licor 43
  • 6.25 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup, plus more to taste
  • 1 bottle Cava

Combine first four ingredients, top with the Cava, and use the juiced lemon peels atop the pitcher for a lovely touch of aromatics.


  • 1½ bottles Spanish rosé, like a Tempranillo blend (or any dry rosé)
  • 18.75 oz Perucchi Gran Reserva Dry Vermouth (Dolin Blanc is a nice alternative)
  • 12.5 oz fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 6.25 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup, plus more to taste

Combine ingredients and use the juiced grapefruit peels as a garnish.

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