The other night, I had friends over for dinner and decided on a Spanish dinner theme. One reason for this theme was because I scored a really awesome cast iron paella pan at a thrift store for $3! I've been anxious to use it and having a Spanish dinner night was the perfect reason.
Once I found out that my guests hadn't had Spanish food before, I was happy to provide a slight introduction. Although traditional paella involves seafood, I made this Chicken and Chorizo Paella instead because of allergies. It came out so delicious and certainly made quite a presentation at the table.
This was a great dish that worked as a one pan meal. Full of colorful vegetables, tender chicken, and spicy chorizo tossed in a bed of seasoned rice, the only accompaniment you'll probably need is a crisp green salad. This makes a lot of paella and it's great the next day, when the flavors will have a chance to meld even more.
Chicken and Chorizo Paella
recipe adapted from Epicurious
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
14 ounces chorizo, cut into 1/2 inch slices on the diagonal
1 small onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pimenton or paprika
2 cups short- or medium-grain rice
1 pinch saffron threads
2 bay leaves
4 cups chicken stock + more as needed
1 1/4 pounds roast chicken (meat from 3-pound chicken skinned, deboned, and torn into chunks)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 tomato, chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly minced parsley for garnish
- Heat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in a large casserole or paella pan over high heat. Add chorizo and cook until browned and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add onion, red bell pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes.
- Add rice (medium or short grain rice), pimenton, saffron, and bay leaves. Stir to combine and coat the rice, about 1-3 minutes. Sauté until rice is slightly toasted but not browned in color. Slowly add 2 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add roast chicken, frozen peas, and tomato; stir to combine.
- Transfer skillet to oven. Cook uncovered until rice is tender and no liquid remains, about 20 minutes. Check rice and if it's still slightly hard and not yet soft, add another cup of chicken stock and continue cooking in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until no liquid remains. Continue checking and adding chicken stock as needed until rice is soft and tender.
- Remove from the oven. Fluff with a fork and serve immediately. Garnish with freshly minced parsley if desired.