Last Updated on February 21, 2021 by Stephanie
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. Easy one skillet chicken and chorizo paella recipe that will feed the whole family!
What is Paella?
Paella originated on the eastern coast of Spain in Valencia. Traditional paella is made over an open fire in a large flat pan. It typically has an array of seafood. Traditional paella doesn’t include chorizo, but I wanted to make a non-seafood inspired paella for those who cannot have seafood.
For my seafood lovers, I do have a seafood paella recipe! The ingredients in this recipe are chorizo, chicken, bell pepper, onion, garlic, parsley, white wine, rice, manzanilla olives, and peas.
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. 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.
Next, brown the chicken with kosher salt, paprika, and freshly ground black pepper. By cooking it after the chorizo, the chicken will pick up flavored bits and oil that the chorizo left behind. 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 with the chorizo.
Base of the paella
After cooking the protein for the paella, 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.
- Add in the red bell pepper, garlic, and sauté until the garlic is fragrant.
- Pour in the white wine and deglaze the pan. This will loosen any browned bits on the skillet bottom, which has all the flavor!
- Add in the diced tomatoes. I prefer using fire roasted tomatoes, because it gives the paella 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 paella 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.
Finishing the dish
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 paella 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). It gives the paella a delicious salty note with each bite.
Serve the chicken and chorizo paella with freshly chopped parsley and lemon wedges. The acid in the lemons give it a nice bright flavor.
Chicken and chorizo paella
In the end you get this colorful, beautiful chicken and chorizo paella 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!
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- 3 tbsp + 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb 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 (⅓ cup)
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced (about ½ cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-14.5oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 3 ⅓ cups chicken broth
- 1 tsp turmeric
- Pinch saffron threads
- 2 cups Arborio or Bomba rice
- 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
- ¼ cup sliced manzanilla olives
- ¼ 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 sliced chorizo and brown on both sides, use a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl. Add in the chicken, paprika, pinch of salt and pepper. Brown the chicken on all sides and using a slotted spoon set aside with the chorizo.
- 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 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 once 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, olives, and parsley mix all together. If there is liquid remaining, allow it to cook a few minutes longer.
- 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*