Our fondness for holidays and savouring authentic Spanish paella is undeniable! However, thanks to our chicken and chorizo paella recipe, there's no need to journey all the way to Spain to indulge in this rice dish.
Our easy chicken and chorizo paella will bring this Spanish rice dish's vibrant flavours into your kitchen. The succulent chicken, rich Spanish chorizo sausage, sweet smoked paprika, and luxurious saffron will transport your taste buds.
So, are you ready to embark on a Spanish adventure without leaving your kitchen?
Check out the video for how to make Chicken and Chorizo Paella at home today.
Keep reading to discover all the secrets to creating an unforgettable dish that will have your family wanting seconds.Or jump to the paella recipe card to get cooking now
Every ingredient in this one-pot meal works together to create a good paella. Let's dive into the essential ingredients that make this easy recipe an unforgettable experience.
The foundation of countless Mediterranean dishes, olive oil provides a smooth, rich base that enhances the flavours of the other ingredients. You can use other cooking oils instead.
Using boneless, skinless chicken thighs ensures tender, juicy pieces that soak up all the delicious flavours in the pan. Cutting them into large pieces allows for even cooking and easier eating.
Feel free to use chopped chicken breast, breast fillets, wings or legs instead. Bigger pieces of chicken will require longer cooking times.
Whether you prefer smoked, sweet, or spicy, paprika is key to achieving that signature warmth and depth in your paella. It lends a nice colour and subtle heat. We use sweet smoked paprika but feel free to try others to suit your taste.
Salt and Pepper
These classic seasonings are essential for enhancing recipes. A touch of salt and pepper ensures a well seasoned meal.
While chorizo may not be traditionally used in paella in Spain, it has become a popular addition in the UK.
Adding chopped chorizo slices infuses the chicken paella with a smoky, savoury richness.
Sliced red pepper not only adds a pop of colour but also a delightful crunch and sweetness that balances the savoury components of the dish. You can use any colour pepper, red bell pepper are our favourite.
Sliced garlic adds a fragrant kick that permeates throughout the dish, providing a depth of flavour that beautifully ties everything together. Do not add it to early as the garlic may burn.
Tomato puree brings a rich, tangy dimension to the paella, creating a well-rounded base for the rice and other ingredients to shine.
A pinch of saffron imparts a luxurious, slightly floral note, giving the Chicken and Chorizo Paella its characteristic golden hue and delicate aroma.
Paella rice is the star of the show, absorbing all the flavours and textures from the chicken, chorizo, and spices. Its unique ability to soak up liquids ensures a perfectly cooked, mouth-watering result.
In the UK, supermarkets label suitable rice for paella as "paella rice." You might also come across the Spanish Bomba rice variety. Both are short-grain rice.
If neither of these options is available, you can use Arborio rice – an Italian risotto medium-grain rice – as a substitute. However, remember that using Arborio rice will yield a creamier paella than traditional Spanish varieties.
Using hot chicken stock as the cooking liquid adds an extra layer of flavour, enhancing the natural taste of the chicken and providing a luscious foundation for the rice. We like to use stock pot rather than stock cube as they have a better flavour.
Peas add a burst of freshness and colour to the dish, contrasting beautifully with the bold flavours of the paella. We use frozen peas.
Finely chopped parsley sprinkled on top provides a vibrant, herbaceous finish that ties everything together.
A squeeze of lemon juice from a fresh wedge adds brightness and acidity, cutting through the richness and lifting the dish to new heights.
Serve around the dish for people to help themselves.
One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. You can easily customise it to suit your family's preferences by adding different vegetables. This makes the dish delicious and a fantastic way to get extra nutrients!
Feel free to get creative and make this dish your own! Swap out peas and red pepper for other vegetables like green beans, asparagus, or baby corn. The possibilities are endless when it comes to crafting your perfect paella.
To create an authentic paella, having the right equipment is key. The most important item is the paella pan – a wide, shallow pan designed to cook the rice evenly and achieve that crispy bottom layer called "socarrat."
In this recipe, we use this 40cm paella pan from Amazon, which we highly recommend. It will serve six people. If you want to serve more, you must invest in a bigger pan.
Other useful tools include a long-handled wooden spoon or spatula for stirring and heat-resistant gloves for handling the hot pan. With these essentials, you'll be ready to make a delicious paella that will surely impress.
Read more about the cooking process. You can find the exact measurements in the recipe card link below.Jump to the paella recipe card to get started now.
This recipe is incredibly easy to prepare when you know how. Once all the ingredients are partially cooked in the paella pan, the dish practically cooks itself, with no stirring required! Just let the heat work its magic, as the fragrant aroma fills your home and entices your senses.
Begin by chopping the chicken thighs into halves or thirds, depending on their size. Place them in a large bowl and add olive oil, paprika, and salt and pepper. Stir well to coat the chicken and leave it to marinate while you prepare the other ingredients.
Slice the spanish chorizo, chop the red pepper into long strips, and thinly slice the garlic cloves. Measure out the peas and paella rice, and prepare the chicken stock.
Cooking Protein and Vegetables for Paella
Heat olive oil in your paella pan and cook the marinated chicken thighs over medium heat until they're cooked through. Once cooked, push the chicken to the outer edges of the pan.
Next, cook the sliced chorizo and red pepper in the centre of the pan, then move them to the outer edges as well.
Turn the heat to low and add tomato puree, paprika, and the sliced garlic to the centre of the pan. Stir for a couple of minutes.
Add the paella rice to the centre and stir until fully coated with the puree. Combine all the ingredients together and spread them out evenly. Remember, you won't be stirring the rice again during cooking.
Paella Cooking Time
When cooking paella rice, there are a few key steps to ensure you achieve the perfect texture and flavour. These steps include 8 minutes of boiling, 10 minutes of simmering, and 10 minutes of resting, with an optional socarrat stage to create a delicious crispy rice layer at the bottom.
Let's dive into each of these steps and learn how to master the art of paella cooking.
Gently pour in the hot chicken stock and turn the heat to high. As the mixture boils, scatter the frozen peas over the top.
Crumble a pinch of saffron in your hand and sprinkle it over the paella, seasoning with salt and pepper. Once it reaches a full boil, let it cook for eight minutes on high heat without stirring.
Now, lower the heat to a simmer. At this stage, there will still be a lot of stock visible – this is normal.
Allow it to continue simmering on low for 10 minutes whilst the rice absorbs most of the liquid.
Turn off the heat and let the paella rest uncovered for a while before serving. This allows the remaining liquid to be absorbed.
It is ready to serve now, but you can do one optional final step if you want to create socarrat!
What is Socarrat?
Socarrat is the prized crispy rice layer at the bottom of a paella dish, formed by allowing the rice to gently caramelize and toast without burning. Create it by carefully controlling a high heat for a short time after the dish is cooked.
Listen for the sizzle and watch for the warning signs of burning. The texture and the rich flavour that it creates are essential for a more authentic paella experience.
Finish the paella off with some bright lemon wedges and a sprinkling of fresh parsley. These simple additions bring a burst of freshness and colour, enhancing the flavours of your chicken and chorizo paella.
Serve paella with an assortment of complementary tapas dishes to impress your guests.
Some great options include padron peppers, anchovy-wrapped olives, cream cheese stuffed peppers, and a mix of olives and sundried tomatoes.
For seafood lovers, try our mouthwatering gambas pil pil, featuring succulent shrimp cooked in garlic and chilli oil. You could also prepare air fryer garlic mushrooms, making a deliciously savoury side dish. Round out your Spanish feast with our homemade bread recipe.
📖 Step by Step Recipe
Chicken and Chorizo Paella
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 2 teaspoon Paprika smoked, sweet or spicy (your choice)
- 6 Chicken Thighs Boneless and skinless cut each into 4 pieces
- Salt and Pepper
- 80 g Chorizo chopped into slices
- 2 cloves Garlic sliced
- 1 pinch Saffron
- 1 Red Pepper sliced
- 2 tablespoon Tomato Puree
- 400 g Paella Rice
- 1400 ml Chicken Stock
- ½ cup Frozen Peas
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Parsley finely chopped
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- Chop 6 Chicken Thighs in half or into three depending on the thigh size. Place in a large bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil with 1 teaspoon Paprika and Salt and Pepper. Stir to coat chicken. Leave to marinate whilst you prepare the remaining ingredients
- Slice the 80 g Chorizo into slices.
- Chop the 1 Red Pepper into long strips, cut 2 cloves Garlic into slices. Measure out the ½ cup Frozen Peas, 400 g Paella Rice and prepare 1400 ml Chicken Stock.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook the 6 Chicken Thighs on medium heat in the middle of the pan for approx 4 minutes each side.
- Then push the chicken to the outside of the pan.
- Now cook the sliced chorizo and red pepper in the centre of the pan for 2 minutes on each side.
- Push to the outside of the pan with the chicken.
- Turn the heat to low. Add 2 tablespoon Tomato Puree, with 1 teaspoon Paprika and the sliced garlic. Stir in the centre of the pan for 2 minutes.
- Now add the 400 g Paella Rice into the centre of the pan.
- Stir the rice until fully coated with the puree.
- Combine all the ingredients together and spread them out evenly. This is where they will stay for the cooking duration, as you will not stir it again.
- Gently pour in the 1400 ml Chicken Stock. Turn on to high heat.
- Whilst bringing to the boil, scatter the ½ cup Frozen Peas in.
- Crumble 1 pinch Saffron in your hand, sprinkle all over the paella and season with Salt and Pepper.
- Once at a full boil, time for 8 minutes on high heat. Do not stir or agitate the rice at any point.
- After 8 minutes, lower heat to simmer. There will still be a lot of stock visible, which is normal at this stage of cooking.
- Leave it to continue cooking on low for 10 minutes. Until most of the liquid has been soaked up by the rice.
- Turn the heat off and rest uncovered for 10 minutes before serving for the remaining liquid to soak up. To create crispy rice at the bottom, known as socarrat return the rested paella to a high heat and cook until crispy underneath. This is optional, but adds extra flavour and texture to the paella.
- Cut 1 lemon into wedges and place around the pan.
- Chop 1 tablespoon Fresh Parsley and scatter over the cooked paella.
- Serve with a selection of Spanish tapas.
To store leftover paella, allow it to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Keep it in the refrigerator and consume it within 3-4 days.
To reheat, you can use a microwave or heat it slowly in a pan on the stovetop, adding a little water or stock if needed to prevent the rice from drying out.
Paella was initially a humble, rustic meal prepared by farmers and labourers, using locally available ingredients such as rabbit, duck, and snails, combined with vegetables and saffron-infused rice cooked over an open fire. The word "paella" derives from the Old French term "paelle," which means pan, referring to the wide, shallow pan paella is traditionally cooked in.
Over the years, paella has evolved and adapted in different regions in Spain. The seafood paella is popular along the Mediterranean coast, replacing meat ingredients with an array of fresh seafood like shrimp, mussels, and squid.
Meanwhile, the mixed paella recipe, or "paella mixta," combines both meat and seafood, reflecting the diverse culinary influences across the country.
In modern times, paella has become a symbol of Spanish cuisine and culture. The dish continues to spread globally, and more versions have been created using local ingredients and techniques.
Paella is pronounced as "pah-AY-yuh"
While spanish chorizo is not considered a traditional ingredient in authentic Valencian paella, it has become a popular addition in many variations of the dish, especially those featuring chicken. Its smoky flavour complements the other ingredients and adds depth to the dish.
The best rice for paella is short-grain rice, specifically Bomba. In the UK it is often just called paella rice.
While it's possible to use a large, shallow frying pan for cooking paella, a traditional paella pan is designed to distribute heat evenly and create the ideal crispy rice layer (socarrat) at the bottom of the dish. If you don't have a paella pan, choose the widest, shallowest, large frying pan available.
More Rice Recipes
We hope you enjoyed this Chicken and Chorizo Paella recipe. Check out more rice recipes like our Basmati Rice, or see below for more.