Chicken and Chorizo Paella
310g / 11oz of Paella rice
4 chicken breasts or 8 thighs
220g / 8oz chorizo
750g / 1lb 11oz of ripe tomatoes
1 sweet red pepper
1 sweet yellow or green pepper
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
800ml / 29½fl oz / just under 1½ pints of chicken stock
2 good pinches of saffron
1 heaped teaspoon of sweet smoked paprika (also known as pimenton)
A sprig of fresh rosemary or 1 heaped teaspoon of dried
20g / 1oz parsley or chives (decoration only)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
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 then chop the slices in half.
Onion - peel, top and tail and finely chop
Garlic - peel, top and tail and finely chop
Peppers - Remove stalk, pith and seeds. Roughly cut the peppers into 2cm / ¾in 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
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 pan 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.
Paella 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 labeled 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 not entirely correct. Saffron adds a delicate flavour to a paella but has only minimal 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.
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.STEP 2
Add the tomatoes and garlic and fry for 15 more minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chicken back to the mixture together with the sweet smoke paprika (pimenton) and stock. Cook for five more minutes.
Add the stock, saffron and rosemary, stirring well. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.STEP 3
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.
Rice added to Chicken and Chorizo Paella
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.STEP 5
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.
Chicken and Chorizo Paella