Lobster Paella

READY IN: 1hr 20mins




  • Use an 18" paella pan or 2 14" paella pans. If using 2 pans, divide ingredients below between the 2.
  • Make/buy lobster stock.
  • Cook lobster in the shell as preferred. This can be done a day ahead. You need to cut the tails lengthwise to get the needed 12 portions. Be sure to remove any pieces of broken shell. If cooked ahead store in the refrigerator but take out before you get started.
  • Grate onion using a box grater or use a food processor.
  • Mince garlic or pass through garlic press.
  • Toast saffron in a small pan for 1 minute. Crush with a mortar/pestle or spoon into a powder.
  • Put stock into a large pot with the lemon juice and saffron. Keep warm over low heat.
  • Heat the paella pan(s) on a large burner over low heat until hot (250F).
  • Add olive oil to pan and swirl to coat. Heat oil until glistening.
  • Brown chorizo slices if using. Remove from heat and set aside. Deglaze pan with wine.
  • Add onion and cook until softened, 3-5 minutes.
  • Add tomato paste, paprika and garlic and stir to combine. Move to the center of the pan.
  • Cook over very low heat until sofrito has turned into a dark red "jam". Add a bit of white wine if the mixture starts to stick. Do not let this burn. This will take about 30 minutes.
  • Deglaze with wine.
  • Add the rice into the sofrito-wine mixture and stir well to coat the rice. Spread rice into an even layer.
  • Add the lobster stock and Pernod if using, being careful not to disturb the rice.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Turn the pan as necessary to keep all areas simmering.
  • Cook, without stirring, until the rice is visible at the level of the liquid (8-10 minutes).
  • Add the mussels/clams evenly pushing them into the rice.
  • Continue to cook the rice for 5 minutes.
  • Add the raw shrimp evenly pushing them into the rice.
  • Cook until the rice is just done. Remove from heat. Add chorizo to the rice then distribute the lobster tails around the paella pushing into the rice.
  • Cover with foil or lid and let sit for 5 minutes until the seafood is fully cooked and heated through.
  • Creating the socarrat.
  • Uncover the pan and put over high heat. You should hear a faint crackling sound and it will smell toasty sweet but not burnt.
  • Remove from the heat. Sprinkle with the peas, parsley & tarragon and garnish with lemon wedges. Put the cover back on. Set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes then serve.