Chorizo Paella packed with shrimp, chicken and authentic Spanish flavor. This stunning, one-pan paella is a true MUST-TRY easy recipe.
Why You’re Going to Love this Recipe
- It’s a really easy recipe. It’s one of those that looks and tastes super impressive, but it is easy to put together.
- You’re looking at a one-pot wonder. Everything is cooked up on the stove in the same pan. So, it’s a low-maintenance kind of dish.
- The cook time of this recipe is super quick. It’s possible to get this dish cooked in under 30 minutes.
- This is such a pretty dish to serve in the middle of the table. It’s a real showstopper and perfect for special occasions.
- It’s bursting with rich, layered flavors and is just such a delicious and well-balanced dish.
Ingredients for Chorizo Paella with Shrimp and Chicken
Here is what you’ll need to make this bright and fun dish:
- Olive oil. You can use a neutral oil like avocado oil if that’s what you have, but I use olive oil for my paella. There is no need to use extra-virgin olive oil.
- Large, peeled shrimp. Choose the juicy, plump-looking ones, as the shrimp are the little jewels of this recipe. You can keep the skins on if you’d prefer.
- Cured chorizo sausage. I find cured chorizo delivers a better result than fresh chorizo.
- Chicken thighs. In this recipe, deboned chicken thighs are succulent and tastier than chicken breasts.
- Onion. You can use white or yellow onion in this recipe.
- Garlic. I like to use fresh, minced garlic. You can omit the garlic from the recipe if you have to.
- Smoked paprika. You can use regular paprika, but guys, the smoked version just screams Paella.
- Roma tomato. Ah, Roma tomatoes give the best meaty tomato texture. More tomato flesh, fewer seeds.
- Saffron. The signature flavor and the secret ingredient in this dish.
- Chicken broth. This will give your dish that umami pop and perfect savory balance.
- Dry white wine. You can substitute this with more broth and some lemon juice. The wine adds a lovely acidity to the dish. Must be dry and not sweet.
- Arborio rice. It’s not authentic Spanish paella rice, but it works really well in this recipe. Spanish rice is not always easy to come by.
- Parsley. Adds a pop of green and a fresh, herby taste. A classic garnish for prawns. You can use chopped chives if you can’t get hold of any parsley.
- Lemon slices. Also a classic garnish. You can use limes if you don’t have lemons.
How to Make Chorizo Paella with Shrimp and Chicken
Here are the super simple steps to getting this mouth-watering dish together. It’s easier than you’d think.
The recipe is a process of first browning off the protein items and then the onion.
After that, you create the sauce and simmer the rice and chicken to finish it off.
- For this chorizo seafood paella recipe, you are going to start by drying off the shrimp, seasoning them with 1/4 tsp of salt, and then cooking them in a single layer. You want to cook each side until just opaque and then transfer them to a plate.
- Add in the Spanish chorizo and skinless chicken thighs. Season the chicken with 1/2 tsp of salt. Cook until browned, and then add in the onion and more salt.
- When the onion is soft, add in the garlic and smoked paprika and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Stir in the diced tomato, saffron threads, broth, wine, salt, and black pepper.
- Add in the rice. Simmer on medium-high heat the sauce until most of the liquid has been absorbed. This will take about 15 minutes.
- Top this beautiful feast with shrimp, chopped parsley, and lemon slices.
What is the Secret to a Good Paella?
- Building flavors in layers, seasoning as you go, and browning the proteins beautifully.
- A careful balance of richness and acidity.
- Not adding too much rice (1 cup doesn’t look like much, but it, of course, expands in cooking and ensures a super-flavorful, perfectly seasoned paella).
- Don’t be tempted to stir the short grain rice as you want it to be al-dente and not release too much starch by agitating it (which would give you risotto texture)
What should I Serve with Paella?
Here are a couple of ideas on what you can serve alongside your Paella.
- A fresh, simple, green salad with lettuce, bell pepper, tomatoes, olives, and a light vinaigrette dressing.
- Green beans steamed and finished off in the pan with a little bit of garlic. You could crumble a little feta cheese and toasted walnuts on top.
- Crunchy garlic bread. Nothing more to say here.
- A large bowl of steamed mussels in a light cream and wine sauce. If you’re creating a feast down the center of the table, this would be a very popular second protein dish to add to your menu. Top your mussels with lemon wedges and fresh herbs.
If you have leftover Paella (doubtful that you will), you can store it in an airtight container. Ensure the paella has cooled completely before packing it into its container. It will keep for 3 days in your refrigerator.
You can freeze leftover Paella if you have extra for 2 -3 months.
Variations of this Chorizo Paella with Shrimp and Chicken
Different variations of Paella can be found all over. Here are a few that you can easily replicate at home:
- Vegetarian paella: Switch out the shrimp, chicken, and chorizo for vegetables like artichokes, green beans, bell peppers, and asparagus. These veggies will need a lot less cook time. You can also replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth in this case.
- Squid ink paella: You could use black rice in your paella and serve it with octopus and squid. There is a version of this in Galicia, Spain, that is very popular.
- Seafood only: Omit the chicken and the chorizo and add in other seafood ingredients like mussels, clams, pieces of fish, and squid. Keep in mind the seafood elements cook quickly and shouldn’t be simmered for a long time like the chicken.
The ingredient that gives paella its true, authentic taste is saffron. It can be pricey, however, and this dish is still really delicious and packed with flavor if you choose to omit it.
Spanish paella rice is the most authentic but challenging to come by. I always use arborio and it’s perfect.
You can make a seafood-only version of paella if you want to make it without the meat. Traditionally paella does include meat, but there are many variations, including a vegetarian version.
A good paella pan is enamelled cast iron or cast aluminum. It is heavyweight and conducts heat evenly. It has a nicely seasoned surface to avoid any sticking. I’ve made this multiple times in a regular cast iron pan, however, and a true paella pan is not necessary. However, now that I own one, I do love using it. I recommend Le Creuset.
I have made this Spanish rice dish countless times before and using cured chorizo yields the best results.
Fresh chorizo dries out because it gets browned in this process and then simmered.
Cured chorizo releases its oil beautifully while searing. This richly flavored oil then infuses the whole paella.
Other Seafood Recipes You Won’t Want to Miss
Chorizo Paella with Shrimp and Chicken
- 4 tbsp olive oil divided use
- ½ lb shrimp peeled and deveined
- 6 oz chorizo use cured, not fresh chorizo, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3 chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 large onion minced
- kosher salt
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 large roma tomato diced
- ⅛ tsp saffron soaked in 2 tbsp water
- 1 ½ cups unsalted chicken broth
- ¼ cup dry white wine or more broth
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
- Heat oil in paella pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat dry shrimp, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt and cook in a single layer until golden underneath. Flip and cook until just opaque. Transfer to a plate.
- Add chorizo and chicken thighs to the same pan. Season chicken with 1/2 tsp salt. Cook until browned then add the onion plus ¼ tsp more salt. When onion is soft, stir in garlic and smoked paprika; cook another 2 minutes.
- Add tomato, saffron, broth, wine, ¾ tsp more salt and the pepper, stir, then add the rice and cook, covered, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Top with shrimp and sprinkle with parsley to serve.
- A true paella pan is not necessary but I do love the large surface area and how it makes lots of crispy bits on the bottom of the paella. Mine is this one from Le Creuset.
- Swap in thawed pre-cooked shrimp for an easy shortcut and just stir them in to heat through at the end.
- Fresh chorizo is not as good as the cured (already cooked) kind. Fresh doesn’t render as much flavourful oil and it dries out with the long cooking time.
- If you don’t have saffron (it’s pricey), just leave it out.
Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD