Chicken Paella

With Spicy Chorizo Sausage

Chicken Paella myfavouritepastime.com_7332I felt like eating Paella so I made some and ate it. I didn’t follow any hard and fast rules about making Paella, because I’m always experimenting with rice recipes. I love eating rice. Do you ever wonder why there are always tonnes and tonnes of chicken drumsticks on sale? And chicken thighs too.? What happens to the other parts of the chicken? I don’t see a lot of chicken wings or breasts on sale.

Chicken Paella myfavouritepastime.com_7321I am told Paella originated in the region of Valencia, in eastern Spain. It is now widely eaten in all provinces of Spain, and in every continent of the world. Today, there are many versions of Paella, from vegetarian to seafood to mixed paellas. The best rice for making paella is ‘bomba’ a short grain, almost round rice, also known as paella rice. The average rice absorbs twice its volume of water, but ‘bomba’ absorbs, three times it’s volume, thereby absorbing more flavour but also remaining intact, unlike other short grain rice. I could not lay my hands on bomba (it’s grown in Spain), so I used arborio, which yields a creamier dish.

Chicken Paella myfavouritepastime.com_7352There are three basic types of rice grain: Short grain (Japonica), long grain (Indica), and medium grain (hybrid). The grains of fragrant long-grain rice tend to remain intact after cooking and are perfect for stir-fries, sauces, pilau and curries; the ones of short grain rice, in general acquire a creamy, sticky texture and are good for risotto, or rice pudding. Examples of long grain rice include: basmati, jasmine, Patna, Carolina, or Texmati. According to Wiki, there are over 40,000 varieties of rice. I mainly use basmati, and a few others. I am sure you do too. Now for the Paella recipe.

Chicken Paella myfavouritepastime.com_6988Please always remember to assemble all ingredients before you start ( I don’t use broccoli anymore)

Chicken Paella myfavouritepastime.comChorizo, onions and bell pepper

Chicken Paella myfavouritepastime.com_6973Ingredients for marinade

Chicken Paella myfavouritepastime.com_6975Combine all marinade ingredients in a good sized container

Chicken Paella myfavouritepastime.com_6976and mix thoroughly.

Chicken Paella myfavouritepastime.comMake some slits across the drumsticks or thighs and thoroughly coat them with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, the longer you marinate the better.

Chicken Paella myfavouritepastime.comCoat or evenly brush a 12-inch round non-stick skillet with oil and heat over medium high heat. Cook the drumsticks or thighs for seven minutes on each side until well browned and almost done. Remove, drain and set aside.

Chicken Paella myfavouritepastime.comIn the same skillet, cook the chorizo, onions and bell pepper, in the rendered fat. The chorizo will cook in a few minutes, then the onions, and the bell pepper will take the longest cooking time. Remove the chorizo, onions and bell pepper and set aside.

Chicken Paella myfavouritepastime.comHeat the rendered fat or the two tablespoons olive oil in a heavy based 12 inch pan. Add the cooked chorizo, onions, bell pepper and garlic and cook for one minute

Chicken Paella myfavouritepastime.comAdd the rice and continue to cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.

Chicken Paella myfavouritepastime.comThen add the turmeric and cook until the rice is well coated and yellow in colour.

Chicken Paella myfavouritepastime.comThen add the peas and continue cooking for two minutes.

Chicken Paella myfavouritepastime.comAdd the chicken stock (broth), stir to combine, season to taste and bring to the boil. Place the chicken drumsticks or thighs in the rice, more or less submerged

Chicken Paella myfavouritepastime.com_7028and simmer covered, for 15 minutes, adding prawns in the last 5 minutes of cooking (if using prawns). Turn off the heat, and leave covered for another 15 minutes.

Chicken Paella myfavouritepastime.com_7252Add some chopped parsley, fluff and serve hot.

Chicken Paella myfavouritepastime.com_7314The rice was very moist and tender and tasted very nice

Chicken Paella myfavouritepastime.com_7326I would make this rice again and again.

Chicken Paella with Spicy Chorizo Sausage

Preparation time: 30 minutes + time for marinating; Cooking time: 15 minutes + 5 minutes standing time; Serves: 4-6


  • 8 chicken drumsticks, or thighs, or breasts cut into two (I prefer thighs)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 100g chorizo sausage, diced into small cubes  (I used a spicy one)
  • I medium onion, sliced, in half moons
  • 1 medium, red capsicum (bell pepper), quartered and julienned
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 400g (2 cups) arborio rice 
  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads or ½-1 teaspoon turmeric or  (I added 1 teaspoon turmeric, saffron highly recommended)
  • 150g (1 cup) green peas
  • 3 cups chicken stock (broth) or water and bouillon cube
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 medium green prawns peeled and deveined (optional)
  • a handful of parsley, chopped

Ingredients for Marinade

  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a good sized container and mix thoroughly. Make a few cross slits on the drumsticks and thoroughly coat them with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Coat or evenly brush a 12-inch round non-stick skillet with oil and heat over medium high heat. Cook the drumsticks or thighs for seven minutes on each side until well browned and almost done. Remove, drain and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, cook the chorizo, onions and bell pepper, in the rendered fat. The chorizo will cook in a few minutes, then the onions and the bell pepper will take the longest cooking time. Remove the chorizo, onions and bell pepper and set aside.
  4. Heat the rendered fat or the two tablespoons olive oil in a heavy based 12 inch pan. Add the cooked chorizo, onions, bell pepper and garlic and cook for one minute. Add the rice and continue to cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the turmeric and cook until the rice is well coated and yellow in colour. Then add the peas and continue cooking for two minutes.
  6. Add the chicken stock, stir to combine, season to taste and bring to the boil.  Place the chicken drumsticks or thighs on the rice, more or less submerged, and simmer covered, for 15 minutes, adding prawns in the last 5 minutes of cooking (if using prawns). Turn off the heat, and leave covered for another 15 minutes. Add the chopped parsley, fluff the rice and serve hot.

Points to Note:

  • The first time I cooked this Paella I added broccoli but it was completely mushed up and messed the taste of the Paella so I’ve since omitted broccoli from this recipe.
  • For every cup of rice, use 1½ cups water.
  • I always use turmeric instead of saffron and It works fine for me.
  • The first time I used drumsticks but have since been using thighs. They have a better taste.
  • If using saffron: then heat the chicken stock (broth), add the saffron and and let it sit for about 10 minutes, before using the broth.
  • Frankly speaking I’ve never used the prawns because my kids don’t like them.
  • Recipe Updated: 1 January 2017 

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

87 thoughts

  1. This looks soo good!! I’d like to use some chicken thighs ’cause I like those best. This, like the brown rice, chicken wings and veggie recipe you posted today, is right up my alley because I love One Pot meals!! (Here in the States, a lot of chicken breast is for sale… more than chicken legs/thighs or chicken wings, or so it seems to me.)

    1. Hi Cecile
      We have more thighs, drumsticks, wings, legs on sale here. Occasionally we have boneless breasts on sale too. I love one pot meals too. I wish you a very fantastic week!

    1. Hi Shanna,
      My very nice version of Paella. I have made it several times. I love it. Very tasty…thanks for complimenting.
      Best wishes!

    1. Please note that I do not accept re-blogs from blogs whose owners chose to be mysterious. Kindly remove my posts from your blog. In any case you are over-reblogging my posts!!!!

    1. Hi Sheila,
      What a lovely surprise. I sent you a message two or three days ago, on the Finnish cell phone, maybe you’d already left. Have you tried this one yet? I really liked it. I think I should make some this week again. Please send me and e-mail or better still, call me. Have a lovely week!

  2. As I’m spanish, I couldn’t resist to write a message to congratulate for this magnificent paella you’ve done. 😀

    1. Omg thank you so much for complimenting my “First ever Paella” I did not follow hard and fast rules, but I loved the results. I would cook this again and again. Have a fabulous weekend!

      1. You couldn’t doubt that it would have good results!
        I hope you continue making paella and Spanish food expands by the world 🙂

    1. Hi Karen,
      This is the best surprise I’ve had in the last one month. How have you been? where have you been? how are the kids? what are you doing? I could go on asking forever…It’s so very nice to hear from you after such a long spell of silence..
      Thank you so much for linking me to that article. It was a very interesting read. I shall try and look for the book with 60 Paella recipes. I would like to make at least ten of them. (it’s not in the library…sigh)
      A lot of good cooking requires a good gas flame, and I don’t have one here. That Paella pot would never cook well on a flat top electric stove (the heat would not spread well). It’s almost similar to making the real authentic pilau you need either a gas flame or better still a charcoal fire. It makes the best Pilau, biryani etc. (authentic ones).
      The book is available at chapters. I’ll get a copy..thanks. Have a lovely day. I was in Toronto on Monday, dropping the U of T girl on Bay street. Have a lovely day, Karen. It’s really nice to see you back. XOXO to the boys and greetings to the better half!

  3. Woah!
    It looks so festive, Liz!
    I love the colors!
    By the way, I have not got the chance to make the Indonesian Biryani rices (Nasi Kebuli & Nasi Minjak). Seeing the post reminds me of that! I have been crazily busy these last few weeks. I’ll try to make it a.s.a.p.

    1. Hi Hari,
      It’s a pleasure to see your face. You seem to be forgetting “old friends” did you ever hear of the proverb “old is gold” Ha ha I’m pulling your leg.
      Hari, honestly, we did agree you would make the Biryani (thanks for reminding me). I know the word “Nasi” means rice, correct me if I’m wrong. What does Nasi Goreng” mean? Please try and make the rice, asap as you nicely put it and then I can see whether my Biryani skills have gone to the dogs or not.Thanks in advance, Hari. I shall be waiting for you. Have a great week!

      1. Nasi goreng is fried rice. It is one of the most popular national dishes in Indonesia. 😀
        I’ve been crazily busy these last few weeks but I’ll try to post the Biryani rice a.s.a.p! 🙂

        1. I ate a lot of Nasi goreng in the Netherlands, with some skewered chicken and peanut sauce. I used to love it so much. It also came with some pork. Lovely and delicious! I await your Biryani, Hari. Hope you’ll get some time to do it!

        2. Ah, You ate nasi goreng with “sate ayam” in the Netherlands. We call it as the “national style”.
          There are many versions of Nasi Goreng in Indonesia. The “national version” is the one acceptable by most people because it is not too spicy.
          It is usually served with skewered chicken, shrimp crackers, fried egg, pickled shallot and bird’s eye chili, cucumber slices, melinjo cracker and fried peanuts.
          The fried rice in my hometown,sold by the Malay, Aceh and Javanese people, is pretty spicy. Its reddish color really show its flavor!

        3. Yes the one I used to eat was not too spicy but very delicious. I loved it. I used to dine in that restaurant once a week. Thank you Hari, for reminding me about the shrimp crackers. They were my most favourite part of the meal. I loved those crackers so much. Do you know how to make the shrimp crackers? I would love to learn how to do it. I just like a bit it chilli not too much. I hope one day, I shall be able to visit Indonesia. It must be one of the most interesting places in the world (what with the markets, food being peddled everywhere and things like banana and pandan leaves and coconut and all those different types of teas, and the palm syrup etc) I have learnt so much from you Hari. Maybe one day I will become a tour guide in your country. Thanks Hari and have a good day!

        4. Liz, I am imagining you guiding a group of tourist in my head right now. I see you in a traditional market in Bali. 😀
          (It was such a fun place to shop!)
          I do not know how to make shrimp crackers. I usually buy the ready-to-fry one. There is also the ready-to-eat crackers but I prefer frying it myself. If you fry it correctly, you can make the crackers two to five times its dry size. I love seeing the crackers “bloom” in the oil.

        5. Hi Hari,
          Omg do you mean I can actually buy ready-to-fry-crackers. That sound like a lovely idea. I must check my local store here or better still search for it in the speciality stores. I would love to fry my own. It sounds so good. I shall let you know if I find them. Thanks, Hari, for the tip. I love those shrimp crackers!!!
          have a fabulous evening, liz

  4. Paella is such a great dish, isn’t it? I love it but it sure can get expensive, especially for one. I’ve never made it but will order it whenever I can. Your recipe makes an old favorite much more accessible, Liz, and this post demystifies the process. Maybe it’s time I give paella a go. Thanks, Liz.

    1. Hi there John,
      Sorry for the late reply. Universities and School’s opened yesterday/today and so I’ve been busy moving the older ones and organizing the younger ones (four is a mouthful).
      I have never made Paella but got the idea when I bought the arborio rice for trying out the risotto from your kitchen. I shall be making it this week. I am very excited. It will be my very first time to make risotto and after that I plan to make some 10 or so recipes, then I guess I shall become a self-proclaimed expert of sorts. Thank you John for being so graceful and polite. I do appreciate your presence here, always. I wish you a great week and please, many hugs to Max.

  5. I’ve been missing you and there you were tonight. I love that recipe! I don’t like seafood with other meats so the chicken paella really appeals to me. Gosh, I didn’t know there was a particular pan to make paella. I learn something new every time I come to your blog. Hope you are having a lovely labour day weekend. School starts pretty quick and everyone will be getting their schedules back on track again. The rice looks scrumptious! I think this may be one of those “go to” recipes. Thanks for posting this Liz! I certainly admire your photos and how you can make the food look so vibrant and appealing.

    1. Hi there Sandy,
      I have missed you too. I became a bit lazy the last few days and could’t just get to finish a post. My son’s birthday was on the 31, he turned 13 so we spent the whole day out with him, making him feel like a little King. We ended the day with a movie and dinner. Labour day weekend is fine. School starts Tuesday. The summer holidays ended so fast, it’s unbelievable.
      Thanks for your kind words, Sandy. You are my source of inspiration. Wish you a happy holiday and thanks so much for everything. Best regards!
      P/S oh yes there is a particular paella pan but it doesn’t really matter what you use. The pot shouldn’t be a tight, high one. Rice always requires ample space. It cooks better that way!

      1. Very best wishes for a happy 13th year! Your little King is growing up. How very special for him, he will have good memories of a loving family as he continues to grow up. Happy Labour Day!

        1. Thanks Sandy. He is a very tall boy, much taller than me right now (am 5 8*). Happy Labour day to you too. I’m sure you spent it in the office, with your renovations team. You are such a wonderful lady. I wish you all the best in everything you ever intended to do. Be blessed and have a fantastic week!

        2. Aww, thank you! I was only there for a short time this morning – basically to hang a couple of pictures. Then I came home and really didn’t do much of anything. Tomorrow it’s back to the routine! My blogging has been on the back burner the past while. Happy back to school week to you! Mine are all past that now, just grandchildren, but 4 of the 8 have already graduated so only 4 more to go!

        3. You are at the peak of everything. No hassles about kids and soon even the four will be graduated. You must have started very early. Sometimes I wish I didn’t wait so long in-between. I would be roaming the world and sightseeing. “I would have” never took one anywhere so lets just be grateful for all that we have. Have a wonderful day, Sandy!

    1. Hi Fae,
      Don’t worry I don’t eat much seafood either. Perhaps that’s why I delayed in buying the prawns. they never landed in my pot. Thanks Fae, for your constant support!

    1. I adore rice. It’s really one of my favourite meals and it never goes wrong for me. Thanks for complimenting. I wish you a fabulous week. Thanks for visiting me!

    1. I have also always wanted to try and I finally did and I loved it. It was so good, I’ll be making it at least once a week. Good luck, hope you enjoy yours. I wish you a lovely week!

  6. Wow, this looks seriously delicious. I can’t wait to make it! By the way, thank you for including the cup/ounce measurements for some of your items. It’s a big help.

  7. of this post I particularly like the description of the different types of rice. Choosing the right ingredient makes a huge difference, but loads of people seem to ignore it…

    1. Thank you so much although I did not use “the recommended rice” for this recipe, but I shall make a point of looking for and stocking the different kinds of rice for major dishes like paella, risotto and I always have some fragrant basmati in my pantry. Thank you so much, Roberto. I wish you a fantastic week!

      1. well, you couldn’t find t the recommended one, but a risotto rice like arborio (or carnaroli) is probably the closest you can get. Have a nice weekend too!

  8. I was lucky enough to go to Valencia earlier this year and tried authentic Valencian paella! We had it with rabbit, chorizo and broad beans. We’re not huge meat eaters but it was lovely. Your version looks fabulous!

    1. Omg Spain is still on my bucket list. I can’t wait to land there one day and eat the authentic Valencian paella, I have heard so much about it. You’re lucky to have tasted it and with rabbit? I would certainly love to munch some rabbit…and broad beans. Thanks and have a lovely week!

    1. What a great combination: Sangria and some Paella, I can actually visualize and even taste it. I love your combinations. They are always such a pleasure. Thanks and have a fantastic week!

    1. You are always up so late, no wonder you post such lovely Bentos. I love rice very much especially recipes like Paella, Pilau, and fried rice. Thanks and have a lovely week!

    1. Mm I am even more hungry than you are right now. I woke up to blog and haven’t gotten up since. Now it’s Lunch time and I really need some food, right now. Thanks, Janet, for your support. Wish you a lovely weekend!

  9. I’m a massive paella fan as well – it’s a great quick and flexible meal packed with flavour. Thankfully paella rice is one of the the few things that our local supermarket does stock and we tend to just use chorizo, veg and prawns in our version. Love the idea of marinating the chicken. I may give that one a go.

    1. Thanks. I meant to add prawns but I was overtaken by events and the prawns never arrived in my kitchen on time. Thanks so much for visiting and have a pleasant week, ahead!

    1. Please make it and post it. I would love to try your version too! or give me a link to your version, please. Have a pleasant week, ahead!

  10. Inspiration time! I just unearthed my Circulon paella pan with the lovely high-domed lid, and was about to give it away. Definitely want to try this out with your suggested rice type and unique marinade. Thanks for restarting my sluggish brain. ;->

    1. You want to give away your pan and I was desperately searching the net for one. I used a non-stick pan and it worked fine for me. So the desperation is now shelved for the time being. Thanks Judy and have a wonderful and peaceful Sunday!

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