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Skillet Paella

Skillet Paella
Skillet PaellaBrandon Goodwin / TODAY

Chef notes

The hearty Spanish rice dish is loaded with chicken, chorizo and shrimp.


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 (6-inch/15-cm) fresh chorizo links (about 6 ounces/170g total), diced
  • 3 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs (12 ounces/340 g total), cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, cut in half, and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) short-grain white rice, such as Arborio
  • 1 (14-ounce/400-g) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juice, crushed with your hands
  • 3 cups (700 ml) low-sodium chicken stock
  • ½ cup (60 g) frozen peas
  • 8 ounces (225 g) medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • Lemon wedges for serving


In a large (12- to 14-inch/30.5- to 35.5-cm) deep, straight-sided skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring, until the fat renders and the sausage begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Season the chicken with salt and black pepper and add it to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until evenly browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan to the plate with the chorizo and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and bell pepper to the skillet and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the paprika, thyme and bay leaf and stir for 1 minute to toast the spices. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice is coated, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and juice, stir and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.

Add the stock, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, the chorizo, and chicken to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Scatter the peas and shrimp over the top of the paella (do not stir). If the rice looks dry, drizzle a little water or stock over the top. Cover and cook just until the shrimp turn pink and the peas are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes more.

Scatter the scallions over the top and serve the paella family style with lemon wedges for squeezing over the top.