Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Chicken and Chorizo Paella

I first heard about paella (pronounced pah-A-yah) in my Spanish class in high school. I hadn't given it much thought since then, until recently when I rediscovered it while walking around my neighborhood. I could smell something delicious and rich, a complicated scent that left my mouth watering and my stomach growling. I soon came upon a Spanish tapas restaurant called Basque, and in their open entrance was a giant black pan of paella. It looked amazing. It was full of yellowish rice, oysters, calamari, and various vegetables. I wanted badly to stop and try some, however I went on my way and soon forgot about paella.

A Spanish cooking show came on TV a few nights ago and they made two different authentic paellas: a wild rabbit and snail dish, and a chicken and chorizo one. Of course I didn't write any of the recipes down, but I knew the basics and was now determined to make my own paella.

Do you think I could pay my college loan off with this?

A few tips I learned from the show:

  • The rice should be soft but not creamy. Some pieces should still have a bite to them.
  • Use the best possible ripe tomatoes you can get, preferably from a garden.
  • NEVER ever stir a paella after the rice goes in (some don't stir at all).
  • Saffron, which is essential in a paella, is EXPENSIVE. In fact, the most expensive spice in the world. 

So I scraped together some money for the saffron and my other ingredients and set to work creating my paella. It only took me approximately 1 hour from start to finish (not counting infusing the saffron) and surprisingly it is quite low in calories (only 400!). Also, it is one of the most amazing things I have ever made, EVER. Seriously, my husband and I ate the left overs soon after we finished our dinner, it was that good. The dish is perfect on its own and quite filling, however some nice fresh bread would go well if you are after a bigger meal. Enjoy!

Nutritional Info (per serve): 400 cals, 18.5g fat, 24.1g carbs, 24g protein, 600mg sodium

Chicken and Chorizo Paella
Serves 4

2 cups chicken stock (salt reduced if possible)
½ cup dry white wine (I used chardonnay)
1 pinch saffron threads
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 small chorizo sausages, thinly sliced
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 red capsicum (pepper), finely chopped
1 green capsicum (pepper), finely chopped
2 ripe juicy tomatoes, roughly chopped
8 small button mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely diced
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 cup bomba calasparra rice (arborio or risotto rice can be used)
1 extra cup chicken stock (see step 10)
cracked black pepper, to taste
Pinch of fresh parsley for garnish

1. Heat ¼ cup chicken stock in microwave until boiling (about 30 seconds).
2. Snip the saffron threads in half with scissors and place into hot chicken stock. Cover and leave to infuse for 1 hour.
3. Pour saffron infused stock, chicken stock, and white wine into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Place a large frying pan or paella pan over high heat. Add the chorizo and cook 3 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan and set aside on a plate.
5. Add olive oil and chicken to the pan. Cook until browned, then transfer to plate with the chorizo.
6. Add onions and capsicum and cook, stirring, until onion softens.
7. Place tomato, mushrooms, and garlic in the pan. Add paprika, stir, and cook for 1 minute further.
8. Add chorizo and chicken back into the pan and stir to combine.
9. Sprinkle the rice evenly over everything, gently stir, then add the hot saffron wine stock. From this point onwards, do NOT stir the paella. This will help it to form the yummy soccarrada, or crust.
10. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Add extra chicken stock every few minutes as needed for the rice to absorb.
11. Remove from heat. Season with cracked pepper and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve immediately with your favourite white wine.

Que delicioso! 


  1. Yum, this looks very delicious. The pictures are beautiful.

  2. Thank you! :) I've had a look through your blog and EVERYTHING looks delicious... especially your peanut butter cream pie!

  3. I've got a teeny weeny bottle of saffron from Iran and thanks for this recipe. :)