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Chorizo Chicken Paella

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This chorizo chicken paella is our favorite paella recipe, it’s incredibly delicious and so comforting. Made in a large skillet to feed a crowd, this easy recipe is bound to make you happy.

full pot of rice, meat and vegetables garnished with parsley and lemon.

Chicken and chorizo paella

A super easy-to-make chorizo chicken paella, one of the best Spanish recipes I’ve ever had! And I do love Spanish food, mind you. Have a look at these amazing Spanish Meatballs in Tomato Sauce, the Pork Stew, or this simple and flavorful Spanish Vegetable Soup.

I remember the first time I had paella, a classic seafood one during a vacation in Tenerife quite a few years ago. It was heaven, one of the best restaurant meals ever, and definitely the best meal we had on the island.

Making a seafood paella at home is somewhat difficult. We live in an area where seafood is not readily available, you get it mostly frozen, it’s expensive, and you don’t really have much of a choice. So, whenever I feel like having paella, we opt for this simple chicken and chorizo paella.

close up paella with sausage and chicken.

What do you need?

chicken, sausage, vegetables, oil, spices, peas arranged on a white table.

Chicken:

  • Use skinless boneless chicken thighs.
  • Using breast is possible, but the breast will dry out too much during cooking, the thighs are so much better for this recipe, they will remain moist.

Chorizo:

  • The Spanish links, which are dried, cured, and ready to eat. They are usually sold in the same section as other cured sausages. It has a vibrant red color, due to the high content of paprika and it is made of pork and pork fat. It comes in sweet and spicy, for this recipe I used the spicy kind.
  • And if you like chorizo, you might want to try this Spanish Chicken and Chorizo Stew, the Argentinian Choripan con chimichurri, or a simple and delicious Mexican Tostada.

Peppers:

  • One large fresh red bell pepper and 2 large roasted red peppers from a jar of peppers preserved in oil.

Rice:

  • Short-grain rice, like Arborio or Bomba. I have Arborio most of the time, I use it for risotto as well.

Liquids:

  • Chicken stock – preferably homemade otherwise a good quality brand, something not too salty.
  • Dry white wine.

Spices:

  • Smoked paprika: when talking about paprika, I always insist on buying the best one you can afford. I am not so particular about other spices, but when it comes to paprika, either sweet, hot, or smoked, I feel it makes a world of difference.
  • There is no other spice for which I am more willing to pay some extra money. Once you’ve noticed the difference you will never go back to the cheap supermarket sorts that, honestly, only taste of dust. 
  • For this dish, I use real sweet Spanish smoked paprika or Pimenton. (Amazon affiliate link)
  • Saffron: a large pinch of saffron threads. It does belong in paella, but if you don’t have it, don’t stress too much, I’ve often cooked this dish without it, and it was still delicious.

Other ingredients: olive oil, onions, garlic, tomato for the sofrito. Peas, fresh parsley and lemon wedges.

lifting a spoon full of rice, peas and sausage slice.

What kind of pan do you need?

Ideally, a large paella pan. (Amazon affiliate link)

However, I don’t have one, so I always use my large and rather shallow Dutch oven. You need a large one for this chicken chorizo paella or the ingredients will overflow the pan. Mine has a diameter of 30 cm/12-inches and a depth of 8 cm/3-inches and it was full. (Amazon affiliate link)

Or use a large (at least 30 cm/12.inch diameter) cast-iron skillet, preferably one that has a lid. If you don’t have a lid, cover the rice tightly with aluminum foil during cooking. (Amazon affiliate link)

sausage and rice dish with vegetables in a large pot.

How to make chicken chorizo paella?

  • Cut the chicken into pieces and the sausage into rings. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook the meat and the sausage, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan. Chorizo releases a lot of fat during cooking, discard it, leaving only 1-2 tablespoons of it in the pan. (1)
  • While the previous ingredients are cooking, prepare the vegetables for the sofrito. Finely chop the onions and the garlic. Dice the fresh red bell pepper.
  • Place them in the same skillet, add a pinch of salt and cook slowly until the vegetables are softer about 5 minutes. (2)
  • Deglaze with the white wine and stir for about 1 minute, until the wine is mostly evaporated. (3)
  • While the sofrito is cooking, dice the tomato and the roasted red peppers. Add them to the sofrito and cook for 5 minutes more.
  • Shortly stir paprika, saffron, and salt into the pot.
  • Add chicken stock, bring to a boil. Add the rice, chicken, and chorizo. Stir to combine, cover tightly and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low. (4,5)
  • Cook gently for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan a couple of times during cooking to make sure that it cooks evenly and doesn’t get burned on one side.
  • Add the peas, nestle carefully into the rice without disturbing the bottom, and continue cooking for further 10 minutes. (6)
  • Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for about 10 minutes. This will allow the rice to absorb all the liquid that might still be left in the pan and to develop more flavor.
  • Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
collage of six pictures of making paella step by step.

What is the socarrat?

The crusty, crispy bottom of the paella, which is achieved when the dish is cooked in its special pan and on an open fire. It is more difficult to get when cooking the Spanish dish on a stove, though it might work if you are using a gas burner.

For this purpose, you must not stir the paella while it’s cooking. The crust forms when the dish rests off the heat, the residual heat of the pan helps create it.

Although incredibly delicious, don’t worry too much if you cannot achieve it, the chorizo chicken paella will still taste amazing, and people won’t miss the socarrat unless they are Spanish and are used to have it.

Can you reheat paella?

  • I do it all the time, there is so much food, we never finish it in one go unless we have guests. Keep the leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator.
  • Reheat in the microwave or place the leftovers in a smaller pot and reheat on the stovetop. Add a splash of water or stock and reheat slowly, stirring very carefully from time to time. The food should be piping hot again.
chorizo chicken paella garnished with parsley and lemon wedges in a white pot.

More comforting rice dishes:

sausage and rice dish with vegetables in a large pot.

Chorizo Chicken Paella

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This chorizo chicken paella is our favorite paella recipe, it's incredibly delicious and so comforting. Made in a large skillet to feed a crowd, this easy recipe is bound to make you happy.

Ingredients

  • 450 g/ 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 300 g/ 10.6 oz Spanish chorizo (Note 2)
  • 1 medium onion, about 100 g/ 3.5 oz
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 large bell pepper
  • 60 ml/ 2 fl. oz/ ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 medium tomato, about 160 g/ 5.7 oz
  • 2 roasted red peppers from a jar, about 150 g/ 5.3 oz
  • 2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika (Note 3)
  • 1 large pinch of saffron
  • 1 ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 400 g/ 14 oz/ 2 cups short-grain rice (Arborio, Bomba)
  • 1.2 liter/ 41 fl. oz/ 5 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken stock
  • 120 g/ 4.2 oz/ 1 cup peas
  • small bunch of parsley
  • lemon wedges to serve

Instructions

  1. Cut the chicken into cubes and the sausage into rings. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook both, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan. Chorizo releases a lot of fat during cooking, discard it, leaving only 1-2 tablespoons of it in the pan.
  2. Finely chop the onions and the garlic. Dice the fresh red bell pepper. Place them in the same skillet, add a pinch of salt and cook slowly until the vegetables are softer about 5 minutes.
  3. Deglaze with the white wine and stir for about 1 minute, until the wine is mostly evaporated.
  4. While the sofrito is cooking, dice the tomato and the roasted red peppers. Add them to the sofrito and cook for 5 minutes more.
  5. Add paprika, saffron, and salt, and stir shortly.
  6. Add chicken stock, bring to a boil, add the rice, chicken, and chorizo. Stir, cover tightly, and bring to a boil again. Cook on low heat for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan a couple of times during cooking to make sure that it cooks evenly and doesn’t get burned on one side.
  7. Add the peas, nestle carefully into the rice without disturbing the bottom, and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for about 10 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Notes

  1. Pan: use a large paella pan if you have one. I always use my large and rather shallow Dutch oven with a diameter of 30 cm/12-inches and a depth of 8 cm/3-inches. Or use a large (at least 30 cm/12.inch diameter) cast-iron pan, preferably one that has a lid. If you don't have a lid, cover the pot tightly with aluminum foil during cooking.
  2. The cured Spanish sort sold in links. You might need 1 or 2 links, depending on their size. I use semi-smoked, spicy chorizo.
  3. Preferably good quality sweet Spanish smoked paprika - Pimenton.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/6 of the dish
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 520Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 1753mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 37g

Nutritional information is not always accurate.

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