Easy Seafood Chicken Paella with Chorizo

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This seafood chicken paella with chorizo is a Briticised take on the Spanish classic rice dish. It’s packed with crispy chicken, fiery chorizo, and a seafood mix of prawns, mussels, scallops and calamari rings. 

Easy-Seafood-Chicken-Paella-with-Chorizo

Quick disclosure for my Spanish readers — I am fully aware of the fact that traditional buyer doesn’t contain chorizo, but I’m not trying to pass this as an authentic Spanish recipe. Instead, it’s a variety of paella that is very popular in Britain, and, to be honest, it’s delicious. 

The mix of crispy chicken, seafood, and fiery chorizo transforms this dish into a real flavour party, and if you make it in a cast-iron shallow casserole or skillet, you will get that crispy rice on the bottom that is also to die for. Have I mentioned that it’s also filled with delicious vegetables that count towards your five a day? What more could you ask for?

This is not a dish that I made every day, mostly because it takes about two hours from start to finish. Nevertheless, I rest assured that the result is totally worth it, and not only taste-wise — just look at the pictures and tell me that’s not a gorgeous dish. It’s totally something that you could serve at the dinner party with a glass of wine, or just for a regular family dinner. Either way, this seafood paella will definitely impress everyone.

What is paella? 

Paella is one of the first things that many people think about when discussing Spanish food. This dish is almost synonymous with Spanish trips, but you might be surprised to hear that many locals don’t consider it the national Spanish dish. Paella is nevertheless the most popular rice dish in Spain, but is also highly controversial when it comes to what ingredients should be added to it, and even which of them should be on top. 

To make a good paella, you need a specific type of rice, which is very similar to the Arborio type used for risotto. Paella rice is a short-grain, starchy variety, with bomba or Calasparra rice being popular choices. If you live in countries other than Spain, you might find varieties marked “Paella Rice” in supermarkets. 

The key to an out of this world paella is the socarrat, which is the bottom layer of rice that becomes crispy in the pan. You can easily obtain it by making your paella in a cast-iron skillet or shallow casserole, or, even better, a paella pan. When the dish is done, the bottom layer of rice should be crispy, almost burnt, and you should feel chewiness and crunchiness in every bite. 

Easy-Seafood-Chicken-Paella-with-Chorizo

What ingredients do you need for this seafood paella?

The main ingredients of this seafood and chicken paella recipe are paella rice, chicken thighs, chorizo, and a seafood mix. You’ll also need onions, green, yellow or red peppers, and frozen peas. 

The seafood mix is a flexible ingredient — you can use any combination you have on hand, but the shrimp and mussels should be both present if possible. I sometimes only make it with shrimp and it’s really good, but I find that the flavours are richer when I also use mussels and the texture is better when I add squid rings as well. You can use fresh or frozen seafood, but cooking times may vary (see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for details).

You’ll also need several spices to fire up this paella — these include smoked paprika, saffron, and some vegetable stock. Many paella recipes include 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, but I don’t find it necessary. You can add it when frying the onions if you want. 

The stock can be from stock pots or cubes or you can use ready-made chicken stock. Either way, you’ll need to heat the stock so you can infuse it with saffron.

What is the best chorizo for paella?

As I mentioned above, chorizo should not actually be an ingredient in paella, but it adds incredible flavour to the dish. There are two main types of chorizo sausage, and only one is suitable for paella. You should use the dry kind, which has a texture similar to salami. In most countries, you can find both smoked and unsmoked varieties, and you’ll also notice that you can find chorizo with different levels of spiciness as well. 

Easy-Seafood-Chicken-Paella-with-Chorizo

For this chicken and chorizo paella, I like to use smoked, mildly spiced chorizo. I found that if I use a very spicy variety, all you can feel in the paella is the chorizo, and that’s not what you want. The chorizo flavour should be subtle, and you should be able to enjoy the richness of the seafood as well.

How do you make the seafood paella?

  1. Preheat the oven at 190C/375F. 
  2. Cut the chicken thighs into small pieces (about 1 inch each), season with salt and pepper, and dust with flour. Mix until all pieces are covered in flour. 
  3. In a frying pan, heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and cook the chicken for 5 minutes until slightly golden. Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place into the heated oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until crispy.
  4. Meanwhile, add the seafood mix to the frying pan in which you cooked the chicken and cook for 8-10 minutes (or 12-15 if frozen). You can season with salt as it cooks. When there’s no more liquid left, remove from heat.
  5. Cut the chorizo into 1 cm cubes and add them to the main pan/casserole you’re making the paella in. Fry it for 1-2 minutes until crispy. Add the chopped onion and sliced peppers, and cook for 10 minutes until soft. 
  6. Prepare the chicken stock and infuse it with saffron (make sure it’s really hot when adding the saffron).
  7. Add the smoked paprika to the chorizo mixture and cook for 30 seconds. Add the rice and the stock, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  8. Add the seafood mix and peas to the pan and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes with a lid on until the liquid is mostly gone and the rice gets sticky to the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper if needed. 
  9. Stir in the cooked chicken pieces and serve hot with lemon wedges for squeezing. You can also garnish the paella with parsley (optional).
Easy-Seafood-Chicken-Paella-with-Chorizo

If you liked this easy seafood and chicken paella recipe, have a look at some of my other dinner recipes:

Vegan Lentil Soup with Kale

Easy Smoked Salmon Tagliatelle

Tagliatelle ai Funghi (Pasta with Mushrooms)

Looking for more delicious inspiration? 😄 Follow Skinny Spatula on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest! 

Yield: 8

Easy Seafood Chicken Paella with Chorizo

Easy-Seafood-Chicken-Paella-with-Chorizo

This seafood chicken paella with chorizo is a Briticised take on the Spanish classic rice dish. It’s packed with crispy chicken, fiery chorizo, and a seafood mix of prawns, mussels, scallops and calamari rings. 

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless chicken thighs
  • 50g (1/4 cup) plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 300g (10.5 oz.) seafood mix
  • 100g (3.5 oz) chorizo
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 red peppers (or any other colour)
  • 300g (10.5 oz.) paella rice
  • 1.5 litres (6 1/2 cups) chicken stock (ready-made or from cubes)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • Lemon wedges, to serve
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven at 190C/375F. 
    2. Cut the chicken thighs into small pieces (about 1 inch each), season with salt and pepper, and dust with flour. Mix until all pieces are covered in flour. 
    3. In a frying pan, heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and cook the chicken for 5 minutes until slightly golden. Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place into the heated oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until crispy.
    4. Meanwhile, add the seafood mix to the frying pan in which you cooked the chicken and cook for 8-10 minutes (or 12-15 if frozen). You can season with salt as it cooks. When there’s no more liquid left, remove from heat.
    5. Cut the chorizo into 1 cm cubes and add them to the main pan/casserole you’re making the paella in. Fry it for 1-2 minutes until crispy. Add the chopped onion and sliced peppers, and cook for 10 minutes until soft. 
    6. Prepare the chicken stock and infuse it with saffron (make sure it’s really hot when adding the saffron).
    7. Add the smoked paprika to the chorizo mixture and cook for 30 seconds. Add the rice and the stock, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
    8. Add the seafood mix and peas to the pan and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes with a lid on until the liquid is mostly gone and the rice gets sticky to the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper if needed. 
    9. Stir in the cooked chicken pieces and serve hot with lemon wedges for squeezing. You can also garnish the paella with parsley (optional).

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 435Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 133mgSodium: 845mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 35g

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.

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