Chorizo, Chicken, and Red Pepper Paella
Updated: Nov 30, 2020
Feeds 4 - 5
A couple of years back a friend of my parents gave me an awesome seafood paella made with farro instead of paella rice. I'm, shockingly, not the biggest shellfish fan so I decided to try and recreate the dish with chicken and chorizo. Skip some 3 years later and I think i've finally perfected the recipe.
This is my Dad's favourite recipe of mine right now, and that is quite some feat because he is notoriously picky. Getting my dad to eat a healthy grain and some veggies can often be surprisingly difficult, so I'm always stoked when he loves my dishes.
At the moment, I make this dish more than anything else, which should prove how good it is. Give this bad boy a go because it's a crowd favourite for the picky and adventurous alike.
If you can't find quick-cook farro at your local store then pearl barley, regular farro, or even paella rice works brilliantly. However, beware, these take a long time to cook because they are such stubborn grains. They will also require more liquid, so have more crushed tomatoes, passata, and stock on hand in this case.
Don't cook those chorizo for very long, they can get very chewy very quick and nobody wants to be chewing on that like a tough steak.
When you taste throughout, if you don’t think there is enough spice or flavour for you, just add more paprika, cayenne, salt, or pepper (whatever you think is missing!).
3 Chicken Breasts
One chorizo loop
250 grams (1x bag from Waitrose) of quick-cook farro/calasparra rice/pearl barley
Two vegetable stock pots
3 ¼ cups of water
1 and a half cans (600g) of chopped tomatoes
5 medium-sized garlic cloves
1 large onion (Chopped)
2 red bell peppers (chopped)
2 cups of parsley leaves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of olive oil
4 tablespoons of smoked paprika
2 cups of frozen peas, steamed or boiled
2.5 teaspoons of cayenne pepper (use more or less depending on spice preference)
2 teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons of pepper
1/2 cup of parmesan (for serving; optional)
Preheat oven to 210℃ (410℉)
Slice the chorizo into half-moons and cook on a medium-high heat in a deep non-stick pan for 3 – 4 minutes. Remove the chorizo and set aside; leaving as much of the oil in the pan as possible.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the chorizo oil. Add the chopped onion and bell peppers into the pan. Cook the onion and bell peppers until slightly soft – approx. 5 – 7 minutes. Add crushed garlic to mixture and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper, and the salt and pepper to the pan. Stir in for a minute. Add the farro (or whatever grain you choose to use). Stir for another minute.
Pour in the vegetable stock and canned tomatoes and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer and place a lid over it (this last part is not strictly necessary if you don’t have a lid). Continually stir every 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, place chicken breasts on a baking tray or in a baking dish. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the chicken. Sprinkle over a tablespoon of smoked paprika and ½ a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. When the oven is ready, place the chicken in for 18 – 25 minutes.
After around 20 – 25 minutes, check the paella mixture, the grain should have soaked up around two thirds of the liquid. At this point, give it a taste and add anymore of the spices if it's lacking in flavour or spice. Give the mixture a good mix and pop the lid back on. Keep stirring every couple of minutes until the grains have soaked up most of the liquid. When you are happy with the consistency (and texture) of the paella, take it off the heat. OR if you find the grain to be too tough add more tomatoes and stock bit by bit.
Stir in your chorizo and cooked peas.
Slice or dice your chicken breasts and add it to the paella mixture.
Add chopped parsley, squeezed lemon juice, and grated parmesan just before serving and mix in.
ENJOY! It’s so delicious.