Shawn loves Paella, but I’ve never really been a big fan of it. With few exceptions, I find that it’s dried out and flavorless. The only version that I’ve consistently enjoyed is from a local Spanish and Mexican restaurant, but even there I’d usually eat a few forks full of Shawn’s and order myself a tamale.

Then I attended the Big Summer Potluck and fell in love with Pam Anderson’s paella. I swear, that woman is a genius in the kitchen.

Despite being simpler than most paellas (no seafood!) it was full of flavor. The bottom layer of rice was crisp, but it wasn’t dried out at all. Weeks later, I found myself craving it and I knew that I would have to try making it in my own kitchen.

Since I loved Pam’s version so much, I used the recipe from her book Perfect One Dish Dinners as a starting off point for my own. The result was exactly what I was looking for, and it couldn’t have been easier (or cheaper!) to make. Since this summer, paella has become a weeknight staple in my house – and, for once, we’re both happy with it.

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30 Minute Chicken and Chorizo Paella

Serves 6.
Prep Time: 10 minutes ; Total Time: 30 minutes

Cooking the sausage along with the rice ensures that this paella is full of flavor. Traditionally, paella is made with calasparra or bomba rice because of their ability to absob lots of liquid but arborio rice, which is easier to find, does the job just as well. Serve this paella with some crusty bread for a simple one pot meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 (Approx 1/2 pound) Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into a 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried Oregano
  • 1 link (Approx 4 ounces) Chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, smashed
  • 1-1/2 cups Arborio Rice
  • 3 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) Fire Roasted Tomatoes, drained
  • 1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 generous pinch Saffron Threads
  • 1 cup frozen Peas
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Set a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Toss the chicken with the olive oil, paprika, and oregano. When the pan is hot, add the chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through – about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the sausage, onion, pepper, and garlic to the pan. Cook until sausage has browned and vegetables have softened – about 5 minutes. Add the rice, stock, tomatoes, crushed red pepper and saffron.
  3. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until most of the liquid has absorbed and the rice is soft. Stir in the cooked chicken and peas. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, to bring to warm the peas. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand for another minute or two before serving.

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