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A pan of chicken paella

Chicken and Chorizo Paella

The crispy, caramelised bottom (the socarrat) is arguably the best part of a paella. Not to mention the amazing flavours throughout the entire dish. What's more awesome is that you can create this at home without a paella pan!
4.8 from 10 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: chicken paella
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 667kcal
Author: Genevieve


  • Paella pan or a shallow, wide frying pan


  • 500 g /1lbs chicken thighs, boneless, skinless ~4 large thighs, cut into rough 2.5cm/1inch cubes
  • 1 chorizo halved lengthways then cut into 1cm/½inch thick pieces
  • 1 red capsicum/pepper finely diced
  • cups short-grain rice rinsed (note 1)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 400g/14oz
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cups hot chicken stock vegetable stock is okay too
  • ½ cup white wine (note 2)
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • teaspoon paprika
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

To garnish

  • ½ cup fresh parsley finely chopped


  • In a large shallow frying pan (or a paella pan, if you have one), add 2 tablespoon of olive oil, onions and garlic. Saute on medium heat for about 2 minutes or until onions becomes translucent.
  • Add chorizo, capsicum/pepper and paprika. Saute on high heat for about 5 minutes or until chorizo blisters and caramelises.
  • Push the chorizo and capsicum mixture to the rims of the pan, making room for the chicken. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Saute on high heat for about 3 minutes. Chicken should be browned but still raw on the inside.
  • Add rice, saute for 1 minute then pour in white wine. Allow wine to be reduced and absorbed by the rice. Stirring constantly, this will take about 3 minutes.
  • Add diced tomatoes and hot stock. Bring it up to boil then reduce heat down to medium and cook for 15 minutes. No lid and no need to stir throughout this time. (note 3)
  • By now, most of the liquids should have been absorbed. Mix in peas and stir through.
  • Turn the heat back up to high and allow the bottom of the pan to start caramelising and rice crisp up. About 4 - 5 minutes.
  • To serve, sprinkle fresh parsley on top.


Note 1. Rice to use for paella best rice to use is short grain rice such as sushi rice. The authentic rice is the Spanish bomba and is available at speciality stores. I couldn't find them at Coles, Woolies nor Aldi and so used Sunrice's medium grain rice. The result was still fantastic. 
Note 2. White wine use any white wine that you would drink. I used a sauvignon blanc - it was just what I had in the fridge. 
Note 3. Cook paella uncovered this is an important step when making a good paella. Unlike a risotto, ideally, you want the paella rice to have the slightest bite to it. Cooking it uncovered will help evaporate the liquids and prevent the rice from becoming too soft and mushy.
Paella pan substitute you don't need to have a paella pan to make delicious paella. A shallow frying pan is perfectly okay to use. Ideally, one that is quite thin and can transmit heat quickly. In making this recipe, I used a non-stick, thin frying pan and was able to create the beloved tasty crispy bottom. 
Leftovers / freezing will keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days in an air tight container. Up to 2 months in the freezer. 
Cooking ahead one of the most exciting parts about paella is the crispy, slightly burnt bottom. So it is best served as soon as it is off the stove (and cool enough to not burn your mouth).
Tried this recipe?Mention @Casuallypeckish or tag #casuallypeckish!


Calories: 667kcal | Carbohydrates: 75.9g | Protein: 34.9g | Fat: 24.3g | Saturated Fat: 5.6g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Potassium: 622mg | Fiber: 6.5g | Sugar: 3.9g | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 7mg