I absolutely love entertaining. I love getting together with friends and enjoying a meal together. When I am entertaining, I like to create simple but show stopping dishes where I can do the majority of the work in advance so I can actually enjoy my time with my guests. This is why I think Paella, is the perfect meal to share with friends.
Placing a big pan of amazingness in the middle of the table and allowing everyone to dig in, is what everyone wants. No waiting for courses, no fussing about…just good food with good company.
You can prep all of your ingredients ahead of time in no time and then just whip it together in about 20-30 minutes.
Traditional Paella is made using Bomba Rice. Bomba rice is a short grain rice which is primarily cultivated in Spain. This rice used to be pretty hard to find for me (could only find it at specialty stores for a while) so in the past, I have substituted arborio rice which is commonly used in risotto and quite easy to find. Lucky for us Canadians, President’s Choice Prevails and they are now selling Bomba rice at Real Canadian Superstore, Loblaws, No Frills and Zehrs. Woot Woot.
I like to warm up my 4 cups of broth and then crush a pinch of saffron right in to the broth. This is what will give your paella the amazing yellow colour. There are hacks out there to get the colour if you don’t have saffron on hand…you could add a bit of turmeric but honestly, try not to skip the saffron…it is a game changer. I buy these little packages and there is the exact amount of saffron in each pouch.
First thing you want to do is heat your oil in your skilled, paella pan or braiser pan over medium high. Cook the onion, red pepper for 3-5 minutes in the oil. Next add your chorizo & garlic and cook for another 5 minutes to crisp the outside of the chorizo.
Remove those ingredients from the pan temporarily (I just use a side bowl). If you need to, add a bit more oil to your pan. Add your chicken thighs and let them brown on both sides (5 minutes-7 minutes or so). *You don’t have to completely cook the chicken thighs through, you just want them to brown on both sides. Once brown, remove from the pan temporarily.
Add onions, peppers and chorizo back to the pan. Stir in the Bomba Rice and toast it up for about a minute.
Add your saffron broth to the mixture and bring to a slow rolling simmer. Place the chicken thighs around the pan.
Cover with a lid and reduce the heat to medium low. Let this cook for about 15 minutes.
Remove lid and stir in your peas. Try to be gentle as I really don’t like to disturb the paella peace.
Keep the lid off and let cook for another 10 minutes to get a lovely crispy bottom…which is really one of the best things about paella!! When you are ready to serve, sprinkle with chopped parsley and add lemon wedges around the platter. SO SO Good!
You can serve this on it’s own or as part of a lovely Spanish tapas night.
Chicken and Chorizo Paella
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Diced Onion
- 1 Diced Red Pepper
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 Spanish style Chorizo Sausage cut in to 1/4 inch thick slices
- 6 boneless chicken thighs
- 2 cups Bomba Rice
- 4 cups warm chicken broth infused with a pinch of saffron
- 1 cup of frozen baby peas
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 Lemon cut in to small wedges for serving (optional)
- Heat oil in a skillet/paella pan/braiser over medium high
- Cook onion and red pepper for 3-5 minutes
- Add Chorizo and garlic and let cook for another 5 minutes or so.
- Remove chorizo, onion, pepper mixture and set aside temporarily
- Add chicken thighs and brown either side (about 5-7 minutes)
- Remove chicken thighs temporarily and set aside
- Add Onions, Peppers and Chorizo back to the pan and stir in the Bomba rice to let toast for 1 minute.
- Add saffron broth to the mixture and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Add in the chicken thighs by placing around the pan.
- Cover with a lid and let the mixture cook for about 15 minutes.
- Stir in peas gently. Let mixture cook another 10 minutes or so without lid to ensure you get a crispy bottom
- Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges just before serving.
Hope you enjoy this crowd pleasing recipe!