Chicken and Chorizo paella is flavor packed Spanish rice dish loaded with tender chicken, vegetables and serious deliciousness! Master this one-pot meal through the tips and tricks I provide and the whole family will request it again and again. This easy chicken paella recipe is what you can call your 'Winner, Winner Spanish Dinner 😉👌!'.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Loaded with vegetables: it is a high protein (chicken and chorizo) and 6 veg meal but not in a traditional roast sense. This easy recipe with a simple combination of ingredients works and cooks reasonably quickly!
- Simple ingredients: you will be able to purchase everything you need for the recipe at the local grocery store. As saffron is so expensive, we skip that and use turmeric (much cheaper) to achieve the bright yellow colour of the dish.
- Versatile: if you want to switch the protein, you can. If you want to switch the veggies you can. If you want to omit the turmeric you can. It is simple, easy and exceptionally delicious, my friend! 😘 Special occasions call for something a little different and this recipe will tick that box and then some.
- Budget friendly: the vegetables and rice make this a cost effective recipe. The chorizo and chicken will be the most expensive ingredients, but they are often on special which helps to cut costs.
- Family friendly: everyone from little kids to big kids can enjoy this chicken and chorizo paella recipe! The spices are subtle with a little oomph and the vegetables mellow with the juicy chicken and spicy sauce. The whole family will love the recipe!
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Peanut oil: we use this to cook the chopped chicken thigh pieces.
- Salt and black pepper: we use these to season the chicken as we cook it.
- Chorizo: an excellent thick spanish chorizo sausage that has a robust texture. This adds the signature flavor of Spanish cuisine to the dish.
- Garlic: chunky minced or 2-3 fresh garlic cloves, finely chopped.
- Turmeric: this is how we get the bright yellow colour in the paella.
- Cumin: a complimentary spice to the above. Yet we use a little less as it is strong and can overwhelm if too much of it is used.
- Capsicum: also known as bell peppers. We use 1 green pepper and 1 red pepper. These add such a great bright colour to the recipe and allow us to pack veggies into the dish.
- White wine: not traditional in paella recipes, however, it is a recipe of opportunity and the opportunity to add wine to the dish could not be missed 🤣👌! A pinot gris or any dry white wine will be perfect (doesn't have to be expensive either!).
- Diced tomatoes: opt for the plain version, not 'Italian style' as these have additional herbs that we are not looking to add to the recipe.
- Corn: tinned corn that you drain and rinse is perfect. It is juicy and bursts with flavor with every bite.
- Frozen peas: another great vegetable that is super budget friendly. We cook these in the earlier stages of the recipe as they take longer to cook than the raw vegetables.
- Onion: skin peeled and then roughly diced.
- Rice: I recommend basmati rice as it is a long grain rice, yet considered a healthier type of rice than plain white rice.
- Chicken stock: also known as chicken broth. We add a lot of liquid to the recipe and this liquid gets absorbed by the rice as it cooks and fluffs up.
- Chicken thighs: known for being a more tender cut of meat than chicken breast. We use skinless, boneless chicken thighs.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by cooking the chorizo.
- Cook the chorizo (Photo 1)
- Add oil, chicken, salt and pepper (Photo 2)
- Add the onion and frozen peas (Photo 3)
- Then add the garlic, corn and capsicum (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Chicken and Chorizo Paella
We start by cooking the chorizo and we don't need to use oil for this step. The fat from the sausage will be enough for it to cook without adding extra oil to the pan.
Simply place a large cast iron pan or large skillet onto the stove top, turn the heat to high, add the cooked pieces of chorizo and fry until they are a little browned and crispy looking. This will take 3-4 minutes.
Once cooked, you can remove the chorizo from the pan and place it in a paper towel lined bowl.
Next add the peanut oil to the pan, give it a swish around and then add the chopped chicken pieces, salt and pepper.
Cook the chicken until it is white with no pink juices running from it. This will take 8 - 10 minutes.
Once the chicken is cooked add the sliced onion and frozen peas to the pan and cook until they are heated through with the onions softened.
Next add the garlic, chopped capsicums and corn. These need to be cooked for 2- 3 minutes. You can stir frequently as this happens to mix everything together.
- Add the rice (Photo 5)
- Add the turmeric and cumin (Photo 6)
- Then add the diced tomatoes (Photo 7)
- Pour in the chicken stock (Photo 8)
🥢 Chorizo Paella Recipe
The next step is too sprinkle the rice out in a layer across the top of the dish then add the turmeric and cumin.
Once you have added the spices, you can then add the diced tomatoes and chicken stock. These steps can be seen in the photos above.
- Pour in the white wine (Photo 9)
- Add the cooked chorizo (Photo 10)
- Allow the chorizo to heat through (Photo 11)
- Garnish for serving (Photo 12)
Next pour the white wine into the pan and allow the rice to cook. You can put the lid on during this process, but stay close as you need to stir the pan occasionally.
The liquids need to reach boiling point and then they are hot enough to start to cook the rice. What you what to do during this process is to stir the dish frequently.
What starts as a very full looking pan with liquids on top will magically transform into a rice, meat and vegetable dish. Keep stirring and don't stop until the liquids have fully been absorbed, the rice is fluffy and cooked.
Once the paella is cooked, add the cooked chorizo back to the pan and allow this to heat through.
Then get ready to garnish the dish with some chopped parsley and fresh zesty lime wedges!
🍽 Serving Suggestions
This is a (huge) meal in one and you are very likely to need or want anything else to go with it!
Some chopped parsley and lime wedges are a great way to serve the dish as they add a couple of pops of colour, citrus and herb freshness!
Chicken chorizo rice and lime wedges offer a whole plate of yum!
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftovers on a plate with cling wrap or in a sealed, air tight container in the fridge. They can be kept for 3- 4 days and are best reheated before consuming.
How to Freeze
Allow the dish to fully cool.
Then portion into airtight containers with lids. The portions can be frozen for up to 3 months and are best thawed fully before reheating.
How to Reheat
The microwave is the quickest and easiest way to reheat the dish. Simply portion into bowls, place cling wrap over the top and then heat for 2 minutes, remove and give it a stir and then heat for a further minute.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- Olive oil can be used in place of the peanut oil to cook the chicken.
- You can use plain long grain white rice if you have it and not basmati.
- Or if you can find it bomba rice (a style of short grain kind of rice), traditionally used for paella.
- I don't recommend using arborio rice (that is best for risotto).
- You can serve the dish with lemon wedges or a drizzle of lemon juice in place of the lime wedges if you like.
- In place of the diced tomatoes, you can use crushed tomatoes or a can of salsa.
- You can use chicken breast if you have it and not chicken thighs.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- You don't need a special paella pan but you do need a LARGE pan for this recipe (31cm - 12 inches is a good starting point).
- If you missed the point above, please read it again 😉🤣.
- It doesn't have to be a traditional paella pan, however, if you have one, by all means it is perfect as it will hold the volume of ingredients.
- Traditionally paella has a crunchy base called socarrat. This is achieved when the heat is turned up at the end of the cook time. The rice on the bottom of the pan takes on a crispy texture. Whilst optional, it is a step to take if you want the variety of texture in the dish that is noticeably different to the soft, fluffy rice.
- You can use another spicy sausage such as salami in place of the chorizo if you wish to.
- Its really important that you chop the skinless chicken thighs into smaller pieces. Nobody wants to eat a paella where they have to stop and take a knife and fork to it to it! The hard work should be done in the prep time so the eating period can focus on the flavors in the recipe, not having to do more work!!
- You can use shrimp in place of the chicken thighs and make it a prawn and paella chorizo.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
Do you put chorizo in paella?
Chorizo is an excellent ingredient to use in paella. It has a great spicy taste, holds up well when lightly fried and offers a great alternative texture to the rice and vegetables in the rest of the dish.
Why is my paella soggy?
The rice in paella needs to be cooked as to soak up all of the liquids in the dish. If your paella is soggy it is likely because the heat was not enough to thoroughly cook the rice or that you added too much liquid to rice as a ratio.
Is basmati okay for paella?
Yes, you can use basmati for paella. It is not the rice traditionally used to make paella, however, it has a lower GI content than standard long grain rice, is readily available and absorbs the liquids in the dish perfectly.
Can you use a cast iron instead of a paella pan?
Yes, you can use a cast iron pan instead of a paella pan. Whilst not the traditional pan used for making paella, the bonus is they are often large enough to hold the volume of ingredients needed to make the recipe. You can lightly season with oil to ensure that the recipe doesn't stick to the pan.
😍 More Easy Dinner Recipes
Never wonder or worry about 'What's for dinner tonight?' when you have an array of recipes that work and taste delicious that you can turn to over and over again. Try these ideas for easy or diverse options that will tick a lot of your boxes:
- Pappardelle Bolognese
- Bacon And Mushroom Risotto
- Chicken Spare Ribs
- Wagyu Beef Meatballs
- Spaghetti with Alfredo Sauce
- Mexican Ribs
- Easy Penne Bolognese
- Braised Beef Ribs
- Red Wine Short Ribs
- Macaroni Alfredo
Its time to get our Spanish on the plate my friend, leaving no grains of rice behind 🤣👍. You can also find all of my dinner recipes in the one spot!
Chicken and Chorizo Paella
- 1 Cast iron skillet or saute pan with lid
- 1 Paper towel
- 1 Medium bowl to put the cooked chorizo before adding back to the bowl
- 1 Kitchen Tongs
- 1 Wooden spoon this won't scratch the surface of the pan
- 2 chorizo thinly sliced
- 2 tbs peanut oil
- 4 chicken thighs boneless, skinless, cut into 1-2cm pieces
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 onion skin peeled,finely diced
- 2 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon garlic chunky, minced
- 1 red capsicum (red pepper) deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 green capsicum (green pepper) deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 cup corn drained and rinseed
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 1 teaspoon tumeric
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 2 cups/ 500 ml chicken stock (chicken broth)
- 400 grams/ diced tomatoes
- 1 cup/250 ml white wine
- parsley stems removed, finely chopped
- limes chopped into wedges
- Cook chorizo: add sliced chorizo to pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Once cooked, remove from pan and place in paper towel lined bowl. Note
- Cook chicken: add the peanut oil to the pan as well as the chopped chicken thighs, salt and pepper. Cook till the chicken is white with no pink juices.
- Onion and peas: once the chicken is cooked, add the diced onion and frozen peas. Cook until the onion has softened and the peas are cooked.
- Garlic, corn and capsicum (peppers): next add the garlic, corn and capsicum and cook for 2 -3 minutes.
- Rice: sprinkle the rice evenly over the top of the pan then add the turmeric and cumin.
- Liquids: pour in the chicken stock, wine and diced tomatoes. Bring the dish to the boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for around 15 minutes. During this time give the paella a stir reasonably regularly.
- Cooked chorizo: once all of the liquids have been absorbed, add the cooked chorizo back to the pan. Allow to heat through.
- Garnish: sprinkle parsley over the top of the paella and place some lime wedges on the surface. The provide bowls, forks and spoons and everyone can dive on it!
- Note 1 - Chorizo: you won't need to add oil when cooking the chorizo. This is because it is high in fat and that will help cook it. However depending on the type of pan you are using you might want to season it (brush with oil). I use a little peanut oil and make sure the base and sides of the pan are nourished with the oil.