Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spanish Chicken, Rice, Shrimp & Chorizo turned into a mock Paella

This dish began as a simple Spanish chicken and rice dish and by adding some saffron, Spanish chorizo and shrimp I was able to turn it into a party friendly version of mock Spanish paella. It’s a flavorful one dish meal that comes together in less than an hour. To round out the meal, serve with a crusty baguette, a lightly dressed green salad and pour a good Spanish red wine from the Rioja region.

If you research paella on the internet, you’ll find many versions. I found this one from Tio Peppe’s restaurant in Greenwich Village very attractive and a doable presentation for a home cook. If you look at their paella picture here, you’ll see that the Chef garnished his paella with well placed slices of roasted red peppers, then sprinkled green peas atop the red peppers and a few slices of Spanish chorizo were strewn about to give the dish a big pop of color and flavor. I noticed that he chose to serve the paella in a dark bowl, which I also found appealing from a color standpoint. So there’s no stopping what you can do with a simple base of chicken and rice simmered together in a tomato and wine sauce.

Spanish Chicken, Rice, Shrimp & Chorizo turned into a mock Paella
Adapted from Real Simple – serves 4
Printable Recipe

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat & cut into 2 ½” inch pieces
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, crushed & torn into pieces, including liquid
¼ teaspoon dried saffron, crumbled (optional)
1 cup long-grain white rice
¾ pound peeled & deveined wild caught shrimp (optional)
1 cup frozen green peas
¼ cup pimento-stuffed Spanish olives, cut in half
4 to 5 ounces Spanish chorizo, roughly diced (optional)
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped + extra sprigs for garnish

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook until golden brown, 2 minutes per side.

Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the wine, tomatoes and their liquid, saffron, rice, salt, and freshly ground black pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, or until 5 minutes before the rice is done. Stir in shrimp and continue to cook for 5 more minutes until rice & shrimp are done.

Stir the peas, olives, & chopped chorizo into the rice and chicken and cook, covered, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Spoon the chicken and rice into a platter or onto individual plates and sprinkle with the parsley. If desired, garnish with a sprig of parsley.

For better viewing, click photos to enlarge.

This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm and Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday.
Have a great weekend everyone.


  1. Droolworthy! A great dish.



  2. Very nice Sam! I wish I had a big bowl of this for lunch today:@)

  3. This is a fabulous meal in one bowl. The flavor just about bursts through my computer screen!

  4. The colors are so appetizing and I know the flavors are delicious. My first paella was at a restaurant in Los Angeles many years ago. It was love at first bite.


  5. I bet the olives kick it up a notch;)
    I love dishes like this Sam..

  6. I love paella! We have two paella for a crown and a smaller version for 2! Your dish looks scrumptious.

  7. Sam, This is a very attractive entree! Laurie would love it with all those olives added in... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  8. My mouth is watering just looking at this beautiful meal, Sam. I'm printing it out and putting it on this weekend's menu. My family will love this.

  9. What a great paella dish Sam. I love how you changed things up. You are right. It is perfect for a crowd.

  10. This looks mouthwatering, Sam. I think it looks BETTER than a classic paella.

  11. This sounds wonderful! I must admit that I have never cooked with chorizo....I think I will be as I see this in my future!

  12. I love rice dish and this one looks so beautiful with all the color in it...and yes very tasty as well.
    Enjoy the rest of your week Sam :)

  13. It's dinner time here and I WISH I was eating this - looks so delicious!

  14. Wonderful! A fancy schmancy arroz con pollo!

  15. Such a combination of delicious flavors all in one dish, Sam! I would want to eat a giant dish full of your mock paella

  16. Paella is such a great flavorful dish! This recipe sound like a nice variation and with the chorizo it can only be tasty.

  17. I haven't made any version of Paella in years! And I love it, too. This is very doable for the home cook, Sam. Such a lovely presentation and great flavors. I do like seeing how other people serve dishes, so it was fun to see how the restaurant presented it. Very glamorous. But your version is more my style!

  18. Great looking dish, my immediate thought was that this was the first paella that I ever saw not pictured in the skillet. That's why I liked this plating, it's not the same rehashed shot.

  19. I started making paella after a college trip to southern Spain many years ago ~ and Sangria :) It is such a delicious meal and I love your variation.

  20. Looks simply amazing! I love good Paella, and your recipe adaption is fantastic... beautiful colors!

  21. I'm embarrassed to say that I don't know how a real paella would differ from this:( So now I'm going to look it up!

  22. Oh Sam, this is a total showstopper! What an absolutely amazing dish for entertaining or just simply as a way to show your family you love them! Gorgeous!

    Hope you have been doing well!

  23. mock paella sounds like a plan to me and a winner. it looks amazing and i love the combo of the seafood and chicken and meat. YUM!

  24. This is absolute genius, I love paella but I've never dared attempt one because of all the work!

  25. Hi Sam - I'm back to tell you that I made this paella and we loved it. I am a big fan of one pan meals and this was a real hit with my family. This was my first try at making a paella and am curious why you call it a "mock" paella. It is similar in assembly to other recipes I have looked at so it looks like the real thing to me. I'm writing a blog post about it and am looking forward to sharing your delicious recipe.


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