Chicken & Chorizo Paella

Article first published as Chicken and Chorizo Paella on Blogcritics.

The other night, I had friends over for dinner and decided on a Spanish dinner theme. One reason for this theme was because I scored a really awesome cast iron paella pan at a thrift store for $3! I've been anxious to use it and having a Spanish dinner night was the perfect reason. Come to find out, my guests haven't had Spanish food before so I was happy to provide a slight introduction. Although traditional paella involves seafood, I made this Chicken & Chorizo Paella instead because of allergies. It came out so delicious and certainly made quite a presentation at the table...

This was a great dish that worked as a one pan meal. Full of colorful vegetables, tender chicken, and spicy chorizo tossed in a bed of seasoned rice, the only accompaniment you'll probably need is a crisp green salad.  This makes a lot of paella and it's great the next day, when the flavors will have a chance to meld even more.

Chicken & Chorizo Paella
recipe adapted from Epicurious

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
14 ounces chorizo, cut into 1/2 inch slices on the diagonal
1 small onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pimenton or paprika
2 cups short- or medium-grain rice
1 pinch saffron threads
2 bay leaves
4 cups chicken stock + more as needed
1 1/4 pounds roast chicken (meat from 3-pound chicken skinned, deboned, and torn into chunks)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 tomato, chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly minced parsley for garnish

Heat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in a large casserole or paella pan over high heat. Add chorizo and cook until browned and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add onion, red bell pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes.

Add rice (medium or short grain rice), pimenton, saffron, and bay leaves. Stir to combine and coat the rice, about 1-3 minutes. Sauté until rice is slightly toasted but not browned in color. Slowly add 2 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add roast chicken, frozen peas, and tomato; stir to combine.

Transfer skillet to oven. Cook uncovered until rice is tender and no liquid remains, about 20 minutes. Check rice and if it's still slightly hard and not yet soft, add another cup of chicken stock and continue cooking in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until no liquid remains. Continue checking and adding chicken stock as needed until rice is soft and tender.

Remove from the oven. Fluff with a fork and serve immediately. Garnish with freshly minced parsley if desired.


  1. This is really great, Joelen! I know a lot of Filipinos and they are really great cooks! Most of the Filipino's dishes are similar to Spanish dishes. I think one of my Filipino friends cooked Paella in one of our events and I gotta say it was so delicious!

  2. I have a question. Living just outside of Chicago, it is very easy to find chorizo in just about any store, but I can't seem to find this chorizo that is slice able like regular sausage. All I find is the crumbly kind. Where did you buy yours at?

  3. Hi Carrie, I've gotten both kinds at various Latin 'mercados' and will ask the guys behind the butcher counter if I can't find it. Sometimes it's hanging near the butcher counter or deli area, not next to the soft chorizo in a refrigerated case. Hope this helps!