Chicken and chorizo paella

Making this dish, I had one of those “if only I had known …” moments. Spanish chorizo. It is expensive and difficult to find around here, even though Mexican chorizo is everywhere. But it is sooo delicious, whether you are slicing it for a cheese plate (perhaps with some manchego and marcona almonds?) or chopping it for the quintessential Spanish dish: paella.

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Spain, where one of my goals was to have paella. It was yummy, full of fresh seafood and cooked so that the rice was crunchy on the bottom and soft on the top.

Paella Marisco

Paella de pollo

Bon Appetit had a recent article about paella that made me hungry for it. I just love the idea of cooking with saffron, and I happened to have some from when I made chicken scallopine. It turned out really well. Instead of buying bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, I goofed and bought boneless skinless thighs. No matter – I just watched them to make sure they didn’t overcook. I also didn’t add peas, because I don’t like peas. However, if you want a bit of green in the dish, feel free to add peas or a sprinkling of chopped parsley. I also omitted the roasted red peppers, which you can chop and mix into the rice, if desired.

Of course, I don’t have a real paella pan, but I do have a large nonstick skillet that is oven-safe. However, it doesn’t have a lid, so I just covered it with tin foil and placed my biggest lid on top … it worked just fine, I only added a little extra chicken stock to account for the increased evaporation.

Chicken and Chorizo Paella


  • 1/2 c. dry white wine (I used pinot grigio)
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 6 large chicken thighs (2.5 lbs)
  • 8 oz. smoked Spanish chorizo, sliced
  • 1 T EVOO
  • 1 large chopped yellow onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 c. long-grain rice
  • 2 c. chicken stock
  • 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes in juice

Preheat oven to 400. Mix wine with saffron and set aside.

Combine salt, paprika, black pepper in a small bowl and rub all over chicken.

Heat large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Add chorizo and saute until fat renders and sausage browns, about 3 min. Transfer to a large plate and add EVOO to skillet. Add chicken thighs and cook until browned on all sides, 4 min. per side. Transfer chicken to plate.

Reduce heat to medium and add onion, cooking until translucent, 5 min. Add minced garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add rice and stir to coat. Add wine-saffron mixture and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Add broth and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, then stir in chorizo. Place chicken atop mixture in skillet. Cover tightly with foil, then lid, and bake until rice is almost tender, 25 min.

Transfer chicken to plate, stir rice, season to taste with salt and pepper. If chicken is done, leave it out. If not, return it to the skillet and cook until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through, about 10 min. longer.

The chicken thighs are so much more tender than chicken breasts, and the chorizo is a nice, spicy addition. I think there should always be more chorizo!

Spoon big servings on your plate and dig in! Enjoy, friends. xoxo


2 responses to “Chicken and chorizo paella

  1. Looks delicious. Amazing how so little saffron can make it such a beautiful color.

  2. I may have tried to lick my screen several times.

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