Are you looking for a delicious and addictive dish that you, will keep on going for seconds? This chicken and seafood paella with chorizo is what you are looking for!
Paella is a traditional Spanish dish from Valencia. It is a rice dish that can have meat, fish, seafood, and vegetables and is well known for its use of saffron to give the yellow color and unique flavor to the rice.
One of the things I enjoy most about paella is the variety of the dish. From the same base rice dish recipe, you can make so many delicious variations including, seafood, meat or vegetarian.
I personally like a mix of meat and seafood paella with colorful vegetables such as red peppers and peas.
What goes in this paella?
Vegetables: I use onion, garlic, red bell peppers, fresh tomatoes and frozen peas to finish in the recipe. I’ve seen a lot of variations for the tomatoes and I enjoy the fresh tomatoes most.
Liquid: You can use any type of broth. The most convenient one is a chicken broth, but if you can get your hands on a seafood broth whether commercial or homemade, that will enhance the taste of the sea for your paella.
Seasoning: The key here is the saffron! I use a combination of powdered and thread saffron. You can do with only powdered saffron which is more affordable. This spice can be pretty expensive!
Rice: Ideally, you need round rice which absorbs liquid really well. I’ve used bomba and arborio rice with great success.
Meats: I use a combination of seafood (mussels and tiger shrimps), chicken thighs (thighs are best to cook longer without drying out) and sliced chorizo sausage.
Secret ingredients: LOTS of lemon juice over your plate and chopped parsley to garnish!
How to make paella?
Prepping the layers of flavor
In order to make a great paella, prep all your ingredients in advance as timing is important.
Use a paella dish if possible. If you have one, take a large frying pan.
The first steps are to build your layers of flavor with your vegetables and your broth prior to adding the rice. This is relatively straightforward and the key to not overcook everything is to cook your ingredients in steps:
- Fry your chorizo in the pan with the olive oil, remove and reserve
- Gently cook the onion and garlic until softened, remove and reserve
- Cook the chicken and red peppers on medium-high heat until browned on both sides.
- Heat back to medium and add back the onion, garlic and chorizo.
- Add the tomatoes, smoked paprika and saffron and stir for a minute. Season with salt and fresh cracked pepper
- Add the broth and bring to a boil.
Cook the rice and seafood
Now the fun part starts, you need to add your rice. Distribute it evenly throughout the place and shake the pan so it gets to the bottom of the pan properly. Once your rice is in, avoid mixing the content of the paella and let the rice cook on its own.
Traditionally, the seafood is cooked directly with the rice as it cooks. Although this method works fine, you risk of overcooking your seafood. I mix the approach where I let the seafood cook on top of the paella by putting the mussels and shrimp on top of the plate as the rice cooks, but remove it and set it aside until the rice is fully cooked.
This approach is handy as well if you want more seafood than what fits on top of rice dish. You have time while the rice cooks to add a second layer of mussels for instance!
When you rice is almost cooked through, you should have most if not all of your liquid absorbed and you have to create your socarrat (optional but highly recommended). Turn the heat up to med-high for around a minute. This will help create your crunchy rice crust at the bottom of your pan.
After this crucial step, take your pan of the heat and cover with aluminum foil and a dish towel on top to rest for 5-7 minutes.
What to eat chicken and seafood paella with?
This dish is a meal in itself! The best way to complement the dish is with fresh chopped parsley and lots of lemon juice. We usually cut lemon wedges and let people season to their liking. Lemon with seafood and chicken is a match in heaven so don’t be shy!
Warning: This dish is highly addictive so if you leave the plate on the table, forget about leftovers!
Please let me know how you like this chicken and seafood paella in the comments below! Would love to know if you managed to have leftovers or not!
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 lb of chicken thighs, cut in thirds
- 1/2 lb of chorizo, sliced in 1/4 inch thick slices
- 12 mussels, cleaned and scrubbed
- 12 tiger shrimps, shelled and deveined
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 tsp of smoked paprika
- 1 tsp of powdered saffran
- 2 cups of round rice (arborio, bomba)
- 5 cups of chicken broth
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- Lemon, cut in wedges to serve
- Parsley, chopped
- Add the olive oil in a pan Add the chorizo and cook at medium heat until the chorizo is slightly crispy, 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
- On low heat, Cook the onion and garlic until it softens, 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
- Bring the heat to medium high and add the chicken and red pepper. Sauté until chicken is golden brown.
- Add back the chorizo, onions and garlic.
- Add the tomato, smoked paprika and saffron and stir for a minute. Season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil on a medium heat.
- Add the rice evenly in your pan. Do not mix the rice.
- After 5 minutes of cooking, add the mussels and shrimps.
- Cook for another 5 minutes, then lower the heat to a low-medium heat. Leave the rice be!
- Remove the shrimp and mussels once they are cooked.
- (Optional) add another layer of seafood.
- Let the rice simmer for another 10 minutes until there is very little broth left.
- Turn the heat back to medium-high for 1 minute. This will help make the socarrat (the crunchy rice layer) at the bottom of the pan.
- Then, take the paella pan off the heat, add the peas, add back the mussels and shrimp, cover and leave to steam and rest for 5-7 minutes. For your garnish, add some chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges. Can't get enough lemon with this paella!
Warning, this dish is highly addictive so make sure you have enough for seconds :)
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.