Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chicken & Chorizo Paella

Chicken & Chorizo Paella 1, enhanced

You might recall me mentioning sometime ago the cooking class I attended in Barcelona last year, and my accompanying promise to share with you the recipe for the Seafood Paella that we made.  This is not that recipe.

I am always very reticent about sharing "traditional" recipes from cultures other than my own, since you're almost guaranteed to get it wrong, and at this very moment there are probably dozens of Spaniards throwing up their hands in horror at my audaciousness in calling this a paella.  (Actually, I just did a quick check on Stat Counter and right at this moment there is no-one visiting from Spain, so perhaps I'll get away with it.)

By and large the technique or method involved in this doesn't seem to depart too much from the version we made at that Barcelona cooking class (which I do still promise to share with you at some stage), but I don't know how likely you would be to find this combination of ingredients for example in a genuine paella.

This recipe was adapted from one by Thomasina Mier's, for which I can no longer seem to find the original link.  Thomasina's original version had lots of seafood, which I swapped out for the chorizo;  I also left out onions, while the olives and smokey paprika were my own additions.

This dish may be lacking a little in authenticity (and I trust you'll forgive me for that), and it doesn't even look too beautiful, but it more than makes up for its shortcomings with loads of great flavour.  This is a great dish for a family meal or to feed a crowd - quantities could easily be doubled to feed more people.  I hope you'll give this a try - I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Chicken & Chorizo Paella Recipe
Adapted from a recipe by Thomasina Miers
Serves 4
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
approx 120g chorizo sausage
1 fennel bulb
1/2 red pepper
1/2 yellow pepper
small bunch fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic
6 artichoke hearts, bottled (I use roasted)
2 tomatoes
generous handful black olives
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
pinch saffron
250g Calasparra rice
500ml chicken stock
75ml white wine
flaky sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Put saffron strands in a small cup of hot water, and leave to infuse while you prepare the other ingredients.

Chicken & Chorizo Paella 9, cropped & resized

First the chorizo - I like to remove the casing, and then break up into bite-sized pieces.  That said, if that seems like a bit too much trouble, just cut the sausage into slices.

Chicken & Chorizo Paella 12, resized

Next the fennel - remove the base, any tougher outer "leaves" and tops (don't throw these away - I put them in a bag in the freezer and pull them out later for making soup or stock), then cut the bulb into pieces.

Chicken & Chorizo Paella 10, edited

Cut the peppers into similar sized pieces, and cut the tomatoes into 1/8ths.

Chicken & Chorizo Paella 7, edited

Cut the artichokes into 1/4s.  Chop the garlic finely.  If you can be bothered, remove the thyme leaves from the stalks - though I generally just drop the whole stems in - during the cooking the leaves tend to come away from the stems and then the stems can simply be discarded before serving.

Chicken & Chorizo Paella 8, resized

Add about 1 tablespoon olive oil, along with the chorizo sausage, to a large skillet, then place the pan over high heat and begin to heat the chorizo, which will render a lot of its own fat in the process.

Chicken & Chorizo Paella 6, resized

Add a little more oil to the pan, and add the fennel, peppers, and thyme to the pan.  Sautee until the vegetables are just starting to caramelise - 5-10 minutes.

Chicken & Chorizo Paella 5, edited

Add another good dash of oil to the pan, and add in the tomatoes, garlic, olives and artichokes, a sprinkling of flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Chicken & Chorizo Paella 4, enhanced

Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the rice and sprinkle over the paprika.  Stir constantly for 2-3 minutes to coat the rice well with the oil and paprika.  Add the chicken and stir again.

Chicken & Chorizo Paella 3, edited

Add the saffron and its soaking water, the white wine, and chicken stock. Stir to make sure all the ingredients are evenly distributed around the pan, and then no more stirring.

Chicken & Chorizo Paella 2, edited

Bring to the boil and cook over high heat for about 10 minutes until the rice has started to swell.  Turn the heat down to low and simmer for another 10 minutes, until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid.

Remove from the heat, cover and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.  I like to serve this with a fresh, crispy, green salad.

This post is a contribution to Make it with ..... Mondays challenge paprika - the linky is still open until Monday 7 February, so keep your paprika posts coming, and don't forget to check out this week's special ingredient which is Nutella.

Make it with ..... Mondays

I'm also sharing this post at Food on Friday hosted by Carole at Carole's Chatter.


  1. Wow your paella looks so amazing and sounds really flavourful! I need to try this... I know my family will love it :)

  2. Chorizo. Smoked Paprika. Olives.
    Pretty sure I love you!

  3. What a great recipe to take away from a cooking class.

  4. As I read the ingredient list and then looked at the each photo, I was practically drooling onto my keyboard. This looks so amazing, Sue and even my picky husband will love this.

  5. I've always wanted to do something truly fabulous with make paella. This looks wonderful!

  6. We eat Portuguese chourico (my husband is Portuguese) all the time. What a great recipe to use it a bit differently. My husband would love this!

  7. Hi Tes - thanks for stopping by - I'm sure your family will love it.

    MM - with those ingredients I can just about be guaranteed a place in anyone's heart :-)

    Hi Pam - it was a great cooking class - I promise to share more in the not too distant future.

    Louanne - I know that my picky eater absolutely loves this and even asks for it often, so I'm sure your picky eater will love it too.

    Thanks Torviewtoronto :-)

    Thanks Joanne - it's a great way to use saffron, and the smoky paprika really adds richness to the colour and flavour.

    Hi Brenda - I've never eaten Portuguese chourico - I must look out for that. I imagine the Portuguese probably also have a similar dish to paella, do they?

    Sue xo

  8. Have wondered what to do with fennel bulb, have crossed it many time in the market not even knowing its name...btw who said it doesn't look beautiful, it way too gorgeous! love the shredded chicken in it:D

  9. Mmmm this looks delish, Sue! I love everything in this dish!

  10. Oh, if only I had a big bowl of this right now--it looks amazing. ;-)


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