A New Chef, An Old Classic

A traditional paella dish
Alex Fausto and Paul LaBue joined Colin Mather, the owner of the Seafood Shop, in presenting a paella dish, one of the shop’s most popular classics. Mr. LaBue will soon be enhancing the menu with additional international dishes. Carrie Ann Salvi

   Those looking to prepare a meal with fresh spring color, as well as the comfort and warmth of rice and spice, might enjoy one of the most popular entrees served by the Seafood Shop in Wainscott.
    The new executive chef on board, Paul LaBue, who brings 23 years of experience, most recently at Navy Beach in Montauk, to the job, shared the shop’s recipe for a traditional paella dish to feed four.
    While retaining the shop’s classics, Mr. LaBue said he plans to upgrade the menu to also offer patrons a taste of his specialties — globally inspired dishes made with local ingredients. The new menu will include Indian, Asian, and Mediterranean flavors, and will be, as always, “fish-centric,” with 95 percent of recipes including fish, almost all of which is local, when in season.

Seafood Shop Paella
2 cups long grain white rice
Pinch of saffron
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup clam juice
2 11/4-lb. lobsters
12 local Little Neck clams
12 P.E.I. mussels
12 16-20 shell-on large shrimp
1 organic chicken breast, diced
2 tsp. Paprika
1/2 cup sliced chorizo
1/4 cup chopped garlic

    Mr. LaBue recommends using a heavy pan, since ideally the rice should stick to the bottom to become caramelized. A large, deep, cast-iron pan works best, he said, or a heavy stainless paella pan.
    The rice is started first, with enough olive oil to coat evenly, the saffron, and half of the liquid, a combination of chicken stock and clam juice.
    Stirring continuously throughout, the chicken is added first. After approximately five minutes, the diced chorizo and clams should be added, cooking until the Little Necks are almost opened. At that point, it is time to add the lobster and paprika.
    When the lobsters are three-quarters of the way cooked, Mr. LaBue said the mussels, shrimp, and remaining chicken broth and clam juice should be added, and the dish covered and left to cook until the liquid has evaporated.