Paella is a Spanish rice dish, typically cooked in a very large skillet. Different recipe versions include the use of seafood, chicken, or sausage, and paella always includes saffron, which gives the rice a gorgeous yellow color. This paella recipe uses chicken and chorizo, giving it a hearty, spicy flavor.
I can’t ever just do something like everyone else does. With recipes, I always put my own spin on them. If it’s a workout, I always change it to suit my fitness level (which explains a lot :/ ). If it’s a holiday or special occasion, I like to do it my way…make my own tradition that stands out for my kids to remember.
Case in point, Father’s Day. We are going to be out of town this year on Sunday and I won’t be able to do my usual big breakfast and dinner on the dock. It has become a little tradition here to do that every year, but this year we are changing things up a bit. The weather is going to be perfect to be at the lake and the next 2 weekends we have out of town swim meets. Yuck.
So all this week, I have been making meals for dinner that I know my husband loves. Nothing (well almost nothing) too extravagant, just simple food that I know he likes. Things like flank steak, burgers, and casseroles. He is easy to please in the food department, so that’s not hard, but he always has a list of 5 dinners he wants if I ask his opinion. They are simple and 2 of them are things I made when we were first married – when my catalog of recipes came from the Campbells Soup Cookbook. Nothing wrong with Campbells, but no one want to eat a meal my husband dubbed ‘Chicken Slop’ ! Strange but good…and a week’s worth of sodium!
So now on to what I made. He loves paella. I mean loves it. We had it a few years ago in a Cuban restaurant in the Florida Keys. He fell in love. He has had a few versions of paella that come close in the years since then, but none that met the match of the rice dish he had. It was overflowing with veggies, seafood and fish. I tried a bite so I would remember the flavors…like I often do with food we get and love. Call it my mental food file cabinet.
So I wanted to make a similar dish , that we all would eat, that at least came close. He asked that I use chicken or sausage. Well, that was easy to do – I used both.
This chicken chorizo paella recipe creates pure comfort food. It was a great way to wrap up the “All Daddy…All Week” week.
INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE THIS PAELLA RECIPE:
4 cups chicken stock or broth
1/2 tsp ground Saffron
coarse salt and black pepper
8-10 bone in , skin on chicken thighs (economical, small and everyone likes them)
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 TB of olive oil
1 pound of ground chorizo (I used the hot kind)
1 large sweet onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 large ripe tomatoes, diced
2 1/2 C Arborio rice
1 C small sweet peas (frozen)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a Paella pan (or in my case a very large oven proof skillet with high sides) heat olive oil on a low to medium heat. Add chicken that has been seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika. Brown on both sides until just done (do not over cook, and leave the skin on so it will be juicy!).
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add the broth, saffron and a pinch of salt. Keep this warm (also what I do with stock when I make risotto).
Put cooked chicken on a plate and add the Chorizo. I left mine chunky but you can do what you want here. When it is browned add the onion and garlic and saute until tender. Add the tomatoes and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and then the broth mixture. * At this point if you want a little more heat add a teaspoon of red pepper flakes. I didn’t because that would have been too hot for my kids but I added it once it was plated*
Bring this mixture to a boil. Turn off heat, add the peas and place the chicken on top. Bake for 20 minutes and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
This chicken chorizo paella is fabulous. I love it, my kids ate it, we had a ton of leftovers and best of all, my husband loved it.