Preparation is very, very important. Have all ingredients prepped, measured, separated and ready to go before you light the grill. Some steps go very fast, and the difference between properly cooked and burnt ingredients is you being in front of the pan. Seriously. Prep like you've never prepped before.
a large 15" flame-proof pan (a paella pan is perfect for this dish)
soaked wood chips
4tablespoonscup peanut, grapeseed or other high-heat oil, divided usage (plus more as needed)
1/2poundchicken, cut into small pieces (I used Quorn tenders)
8ounces, fideo pasta or angel hair pasta broken into 2" pieces
1medium onion, diced
1red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1handful sugar snap peas, strings and both ends removed, cut into 1" pieces (optional, but great for Spring)
1large pinch saffron threads, crumbled
2cupsbroth or stock(I used 1 cup vegetable, 1 cup clam juice)
1/2poundshrimp, deveined and peeled
1/2poundbay scallops, rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
1(15 ounccan crushed or petite diced tomatoes
1/4cupbrandy or cognac
1/2of a fresh lemon
extra sea salt, as needed for seasoning
Preheat the grill for two-zone cooking (one side hot, the other side warm — for charcoal grills, spread the coals over just one half of the bed). Add the soaked chips to the coals or wood chip box.
Place pan on grill grate and add 2 tablespoons oil. Swirl to coat, and then allow to heat. Add the chicken (or Quorand cook until golden (7 to 12 minutes).
Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, and sprinkle the pasta pieces over the surface. Begin stirring immediately, taking care not to flip the pasta pieces out of the pan (easy to do!). Let rest for 15 seconds, then stir again, repeating until the pasta is a light golden brown (some strands will probably burn black - that's okay).
Position the pan so that it evenly straddles the hot and warm sides of the grill. Scootch the chicken and pasta over to the warm side. Add the onions, peppers and peas to the hot side. Saute until the onions are soft (stirring just the onions, peppers and peas).
Scootch the onion-pepper mixture aside to create a small cleared area. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the cleared area, plus the paprika, saffron and salt. Begin stirring the spice mixture immediately. Drizzle a bit a of the broth over the spices and combine to create a paste, moving the mixture around constantly so that it doesn't burn.
Pour in the remaining broth and stir everything together, mixing all the ingredients well to evenly distribute the spices. Pull the pan back over to the hot side of the grill. Add the seafood, and cook until the shrimp are opaque with pink edges, and the scallops are opaque and firm (5 to 10 minutes).
Stir in the tomatoes and allow to heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cognac and a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice, catching the seeds between your fingers.
Remove the pan from the grill and rest for a minute or two. Taste and add salt as needed.