Chicken and Chorizo Paella Recipe


 Preparation Time: 20 minutes  Cooking Time:  58 minutes
 How Difficult Medium  Freeze?  No

4 portions

This is not a traditional Spanish paella but it's not far off. Aside from the base sauce of tomatoes, onions, garlic and stock (which is very traditional) the main ingredients are the paella rice (click here for lots of information on paella rice), chicken and chorizo. Although those main ingredients are typically Spanish they are not normally used together for a typical Spanish paella.

But then again, the traditional Spanish paella recipe is well known, this recipe is our interpretation of it. The chicken should be the best you can buy, free range if at all possible. They have much better texture and flavour compared to normal supermarket chickens.

Next onto the chorizo, a very traditional Spanish ingredient. In this recipe we use good quality normal chorizo. If you want to spice up the paella then choose the picante variety, readily available in most supermarkets. Don't under estimate the spiciness of the picante variety of chorizo, it packs a good punch of hot flavours.

We have cooked this paella on a barbecue using a traditional paella but it can be easily be cooked on the hob using a large frying pan. Click here for our page on paella pans and alternatives where we explore the benefits of a different types of pan for cooking paellas.

Rice is always the star of a good paella, the other ingredients simply add flavour to the rice or compliment it. We have written an excellent article on the basics of making any good paella and it can be found by clicking here. Don't be put off if you find it a bit demanding, cook your paella and then read the article again next time you cook paella.

Pimenton is a key ingredient for paellas and in English it is known as sweet smoked paprika. If you can't get hold of the smoked type then standard sweet paprika will do. Sometimes sweet paprika is labelled as Paprika to differentiate it from Hot Paprika which would overpower the flavour of the paella.

Finally to the colour of a good paella. The restaurants will lead you to believe that it should be yellow and that the yellow colour comes from saffron, that's entirely wrong. Saffron adds a delicate flavour to a paella but has very little effect on the colour of the rice. Restaurants typically use yellow food colouring to impart that "typical" golden yellow colour to the rice. This happens in Spain as well where it is considered normal. There are other options to colour the paella rice and we explain them on another page.


310g / 11oz of Paella rice
4 chicken breasts or 8 thighs
220g / 8oz chorizo - normal, or picante if you want to spice up the recipe
750g / 1lb 11oz of ripe tomatoes
1 sweet red pepper
1 sweet yellow or green pepper
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
1 lemon
800ml / 29˝fl oz / just under 1˝ pints of chicken stock (fresh or two stock cubes in water)
2 good pinches of saffron (see COOKUK cook's notes above)
1 heaped teaspoon of sweet smoked paprika (pimenton in Spanish, see COOKUK cook's notes above)
A sprig of fresh rosemary or 1 heaped teaspoon of dried
20g / 1 oz parsley or chives (decoration only)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

A 30cm / 12im paella pan or large frying pan - see here for dimensions.

Barbecue -
if you are using a barbecue then start it off now. It takes around 30 minutes for the coals to turn white.

Chicken - if using chicken breasts then chop each into 8 pieces

Chorizo - slice chop slices in half (see picture of prepared ingredients below)

Onion - peel, top and tail and finely chop

Garlic - peel, top and tail and finely chop

Peppers - Remove stalk, pith and seeds. Roughly slice the yellow red pepper and cut the yellow pepper into 2cm / žin squares.

Parsley or Chives- finely chop the parsley or chop the chives into rough 3cm / 1in lengths

Tomatoes - remove skin and finely chop or blend in a food processor

Saffron -soak in three tablespoons of warm water for at least 20 minutes, stir every five minutes or so to release the flavour and colour

Rosemary - if using fresh rosemary then strip the leaves from the stem

Add the olive oil, chorizo, peppers and onions to the pan and fry on a medium heat for 15 minutes. Turn them frequently to ensure they are all evenly cooked.
Now add the chicken pieces to the pan and fry for five more minutes turning the frequently. Remove the chicken and put to one side.

Add the tomatoes and garlic and fry for 15 more minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chicken back to the mixture together with the pimenton and stock. Cook for five more minutes.
Add the stock, saffron and rosemary, stirring well. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the rice evenly to the pan and settle it onto the bottom with the help of a wooden spoon.

Cook for ten minutes, if possible on the boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for eight more minutes. Don't move the rice during this cooking.

At this point almost all the liquid should have been absorbed by the rice. If it is still too liquid then cook for a few more minutes. If it is beginning to dry up then add a little more water. Remove from the heat, cover with silver foil and let the paella absorb any remaining water for five minutes.

Paella should always be eaten immediately it has been cooked so get all your guests ready in time, place the paella dish in the centre of the table, decorate with sliced lemon and let them tuck in. Serve with crusty bread, Spanish red wine, San Miguel beer or freshly made lemonade.

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