This chicken and chorizo paella is a flavor party in a skillet. An easy paella recipe, made in a cast iron skillet to get that crispy rice on the bottom and filled with delicious vegetables. One skillet paella that will feed the family!
Is there anything better then going to a festival/party and they have someone with one of those GIANT paella pan’s!? I’ve always wanted to re-create it at home, but could never find a recipe that incorporated everything that I wanted in a homemade non-seafood paella.
Typically Paella has seafood in it, but not everyone in my household likes seafood, so I made it with chorizo and chicken. I did make a seafood paella version for my seafood lovers out there!
First we are going to brown the chicken with kosher salt, paprika, and freshly ground black pepper. It will fully cook through later in the dish, but I like to get all sides browned for flavor. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Types of Chorizo
There are different types of chorizo and for the purpose of this recipe we want to use Spanish or Portuguese chorizo, which is already par-cooked. Mexican chorizo is the raw version and best used crumbled in recipes. For this recipe, we will be using the Spanish or Portuguese chorizo. Although par-cooked, I like to brown the chorizo to impart it’s flavor into the dish and caramelize the outsides. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside with chicken.
Base of the paella
Next we are going to cook the onions in the skillet. The onions will pick up all the delicious juices, spices, and flavor that the chicken and chorizo left behind in the pan.
Next add in the red bell pepper and garlic and sauté until the garlic is fragrant. Pour the white wine in and deglaze the pan. This will loosen any browned bits on the skillet bottom, which has all the flavor! I love using fire roasted tomatoes because it gives the dish an extra punch of flavor. Add in the chicken broth, if it seems like too much liquid, don’t worry the rice is going to soak it all up.
Next we are going to return the chicken and the chorizo to the skillet and give it a nice stir. Whats Paella without saffron? The rice is white so how does the dish become yellow? Enter saffron. Saffron is a spice that looks like tiny little threads, it is very fragrant, has a subtle flavor, and lends rice that rich yellow color. A staple in paella recipes. Not traditional, but I also like to use a little turmeric in my paella as well.
If you can get your hands on Spanish paella rice, also known as bomba rice then I would recommend that. It can be hard to find, so I typically substitute arborio rice, which is a short grain rice. My biggest tip when making Paella, is when adding the rice. You do not want to disturb it, so it gets that crispy texture at the bottom of the pan. Add the rice to the liquid, give it ONE stir to ensure its evenly spread then LEAVE IT! Cover with a lid or foil.
After the rice is fully cooked, there should be no liquid left. If you see liquid remaining, allow it to cook a few minutes longer. Next I add frozen peas, manzanilla olives, and parsley to the paella. The frozen peas will thaw when you stir the entire dish together.
If you’re not an olive fan, don’t write them off so quickly in this recipe. I would give them a try because it really brings the flavors full circle and I’ve flipped olive haters with this dish (mission accomplished).
Serve in a bowl with freshly chopped parsley and lemon wedges. The acid in the lemons give it a nice bright flavor.
In the end you get this colorful, beautiful dish that is bursting with flavor. The greatest part, the leftovers are even better the next day!
Loved this recipe? Check out my seafood and chorizo paella!
See below for cooking video
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- 3 tbsp + 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 chicken breasts (or thighs) cut into square pieces
- 2 links Spanish chorizo (12oz) sliced [see note #1]
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- Kosher salt/Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 small yellow onion, diced (1/3 cup)
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-14.5oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1/4 dry white wine
- 3 1/3 cups chicken broth
- 1 tsp turmeric
- Pinch saffron threads
- 2 cups Arborio or Bomba rice
- 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
- 1/4 cup sliced manzanilla olives
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
- Lemon wedges for garnish
- Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large cast iron skillet [see note #2] on medium/high heat. Add in the chicken, paprika, pinch of salt and pepper. Brown the chicken on all sides and using a slotted spoon set aside. Add in the sliced chorizo and brown on both sides, use a slotted spoon and set aside with the chicken.
- Lower the heat to medium. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and sauté the onion and peppers till softened, about 4 minutes. Add in the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add in the white wine and deglaze the pan. Using a wooden spoon, scrape off the bits that were on the bottom of the pan. Allow the alcohol to cook off and liquid reduce, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, pinch of saffron, and turmeric. Add back in the chorizo and chicken. Bring to a gentle boil.
- Once the liquid is gently boiling, carefully add in the rice and stir so that it evenly disperses. The rice should be covered in liquid. Lower the heat and cover with lid or foil and allow to cook undisturbed for 20 minutes. This allows the rice to develop a crispy bottom.
- When the liquid has been fully absorbed add in the peas and olives, mix all together. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges on the side.
- For this recipe, use Spanish or Portuguese chorizo which is already par-cooked in links. Mexican chorizo is uncooked and typically sold loose, for crumbled chorizo in dishes.
- Use a 12 inch or 15 inch cast iron skillet. Too small of a skillet will overflow the pan.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 223Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 754mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 12g
*Note: Nutrition information is an estimate. Values vary based on different brands and ingredients*