Spicy Chicken Chorizo Paella Recipe

chicken paella recipeThis post is brought to you in partnership with J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines.

Fun fact: I went through a brief period in life where I really wanted to be a chef! I took culinary classes in high school and have always had a passion for cooking and food in general. As I’ve gotten older, the desire to be a chef has faded, but I still find so much joy in cooking and exploring new cuisines and recipes!

spicy chicken paella

A dish that I’ve always loved but never made (until now) is paella. Paella is a one-pan rice dish that’s typically served with chicken, chorizo and seafood and is a staple in many Spanish and Latin American kitchens. When I was a kid, my parents would take us to this authentic Cuban restaurant, and I would always order the paella! It’s full of so many rich, diverse flavors and is simply delicious. 

My husband is highly allergic to seafood, so I decided to make a Mexican-inspired paella with spicy chicken and chorizo so that we could enjoy it together (adapted by this recipe). The seafood naturally adds a ton of depth, so in order to ensure we didn’t sacrifice any flavor, we added lots of herbs, spices, and even sriracha aioli! 

spicy paella recipe

It turned out better than I could have imagined, and what really took it to the next level was pairing it with a glass of J. Lohr Pure Paso™ Proprietary Red Wine. The best food and wine pairings enhance and complement each other, and this pairing did just that! The Proprietary Red Wine is a velvety smooth blend with notes of black cherry, anise, cocoa, and caramel, composed of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Petite Sirah, 2% Syrah, and 2% Malbec. It underwent malolactic fermentation in oak barrels which gives it a really unique savory and rich profile that pairs beautifully with a variety of cuisines from around the globe! 

Pour yourself a glass while you’re cooking this yummy dish because this recipe will take a little bit of patience, and you deserve it. We drizzled our single servings with sriracha aioli which I highly recommend! If you’re looking for more inspiration to create your own adventurous pairings, download the J. Lohr A World of Pairings recipe e-book filled with internationally inspired recipes that are easy to make at home.

paella and wine pairing

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs 
  • 8 Oz Spicy Mexican or Spanish Chorizo 
  • 2-3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 6-8 Garlic Cloves 
  • 1 Small White Onion
  • 1 Medium Tomato
  • 1 Large Red Bell Pepper
  • 2 Roasted Red Peppers from Jar
  • 1/4 cup Dry White Wine or Beer 
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper 
  • 1 tsp Saffron 
  • 1 tsp Goya Sazón 
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika 
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp Sea Salt 
  • 5 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 2 cups Arborio or Parboil Short Grain Rice
  • 1 cup Peas 
  • 1 bunch Parsley 
  • 1 Lemon
  • 4 tbsp Mayo (optional)
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha (optional)

paella and wine pairing


  1. Cube chicken thighs and season with Sazón and cayenne pepper. 
  2. Slice chorizo into rounds. 
  3. Heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan of choice on medium heat and add both chicken and chorizo to pan and cook for 5 minutes. 
  4. While your meats are cooking, dice your fresh red pepper, onion and garlic. 
  5. Remove meats from pan. If there is too much oil in the pan from the meat, drain as needed before adding veggies, leaving at least 1-2 tbsps. 
  6. Add in your diced veggies with a pinch of salt and cook on medium heat or until soft for another 5 mins.
  7. While your veggies are cooking, chop your tomato and roasted red peppers. 
  8. Add in white wine or beer and stir for 1 minute to deglaze the pan.
  9. Add in diced tomato, jarred red peppers, salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, saffron and optional pinch of cayenne, and stir. 
  10. Pour in chicken stock and bring to a low boil then add rice and chicken + chorizo, and reduce heat to low. 
  11. Cover your pan with a lid (or aluminum foil) and cook on low for about 20 minutes. Try not to stir too often in order to create that crispy bottom of the dish called socarrat, but you may want to rotate your pan every 5 minutes to avoid burning. 
  12. While paella is cooking, create your sriracha aioli by mixing mayo, sriracha and a squeeze of lemon juice and let set. 
  13. Add peas to your pan and lightly fold into the rice without disrupting the bottom of the pan and cook for another 10 minutes.
  14. Remove from heat and let sit with the lid for another 10 minutes. 
  15. Top with parsley and lemon wedges and drizzle with sriracha aioli.
  16. Pour yourself a glass of J. Lohr Pure Paso Proprietary Red Wine, scoop yourself a serving of paella, and enjoy! 

paella and wine pairing

In order to achieve the best results with any paella recipe, you’ll need to have the proper pan. It’s best to use a large cast-iron skillet or dutch oven pan. I was gifted a Great Jones cast iron skillet to make this dish and it was perfect for this recipe! 

Have you ever tried paella? If you make this recipe, I would love to hear from you! 

aryann harrell blog fashion wine




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