Skillet Chicken and Chorizo Paella


While Spanish paella is traditionally made in its namesake pan, this cast-iron variation is a great alternative—and it can also go straight from stove to table. The recipe builds layers of flavors as you saute aromatics in the same pan you've used to sear the chorizo and chicken. From delicately floral saffron to smoky paprika and a bright lemony finish, this one-pan meal has it all.

Chicken and Chorizo Skillet Paella
Photo: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Missie Crawford
Active Time:
55 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs


  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads

  • 3 ¼ cups lower-sodium chicken broth, divided

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 6 ounces dry-cured Spanish chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • ¾ cup chopped yellow onion (from 1 small onion)

  • 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped

  • 4 small garlic cloves, minced (1 tablespoon)

  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 1 ½ cups uncooked short-grain white rice (such as Spanish bomba or Italian arborio)

  • 1 cup thawed frozen sweet peas

  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • Lemon wedges


  1. Stir together saffron and 1/4 cup of the broth in a small bowl. Let stand at room temperature at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.

  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add chorizo; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chorizo to a plate lined with paper towels; reserve drippings in skillet. Add chicken, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the salt to skillet; cook over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned but not fully cooked, about 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken to plate with chorizo. Do not wipe skillet clean.

  3. Add onion and bell pepper to skillet; cook over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and smoked paprika; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and rice; cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is almost fully absorbed, about 2 minutes. Carefully stir in saffron mixture and remaining 3 cups broth and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a simmer over medium-high.

  4. Return chorizo and chicken to skillet, stirring lightly to partially cover with rice; sprinkle mixture with peas (do not stir peas in). Cook, uncovered and undisturbed, over medium-low, rotating skillet occasionally to evenly distribute heat, until chicken and rice are tender and liquid is almost fully absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand at room temperature until liquid is fully absorbed, about 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.

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