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5 Step Paella

Paella is the quintessential Spanish dish and it's something that, on paper, can seem overwhelming. Lots of ingredients, lots of chopping, a pan as big as a toboggan, SAFFRON!

But having made this exquisite dish a few times over this summer, we can attest to the joys of a good socarrat (that's what the Valencians call the crusty rice bottom). And while it takes a little time, the techniques aren't that complicated.


  • the biggest, widest pan you can find (or split the whole recipe into 2 pans)
  • 2 chicken legs & 4 chicken thighs
  • 2 lengths of chorizo
  • 2 onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 1/2 cups Bomba rice
  • 6 - 8 cups of well-seasoned chicken stock
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons, Pimenton de la Vera
  • assorted seafood totaling no more than will fit comfortably in the pan


Step #1

Season the chicken with salt & pimenton. Brown chicken legs and thighs along with some thickly sliced chorizo in a few glugs of extra virgin olive oil. Brown the chicken well because this is your flavor base. It won't and doesn't need to be cooked all the way through. Remove to a plate.

Step #2

Saute two chopped onions and a few cloves of garlic in fresh olive oil. Season with salt & pepper.

Step #3

Add your rice to this mixture and stir for 2-3 minutes, coating the rice in the oil and chorizo fat. Add your stock and bring to a boil.

Step #4

Season your mix with saffron and pimenton.

Step #5

Add your meat back to the pan. Lay in some shrimp, mussels, clams, lobster, calamari or any quick cooking seafood (clams will take the longest to open so start with that). Leave over medium-low heat until everything is cooked - this should take about 20 minutes.

We're not going to tell you that you HAVE to use Spanish extra virgin olive oil to make paella - the recipe will work fine even if you use canola oil - but for a touch of authenticity, we like to use native ingredients. And of course, we're simplifying, as we tend to do with these types of recipes. If you're comfortable in the kitchen, you'll know how to tweak this recipe to your own liking. Tradition calls for a shower of fresh peas and parsley at the end, but you could just as easily grace your glorious paella with piquillo peppers or some broiled heirloom tomatoes.

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Queso Fundido con Chorizo

This is not cheese dip as you may be thinking...it's better! This needs to be served immediately after it comes out of the oven, so make sure your guests are hungry! 

Serves 6 - 8


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 length of Palacios Chorizo, sliced diagonally into ½ inch pieces
  • 2 poblano peppers, sliced into ½ inch strips
  • 1 ½ pounds of cheese, shredded (we like Manchego, but Monterey Jack will work just fine)
  • tortilla chips, bread cubes, blanched green beans and cauliflower or anything you think would be made better being dipped in spicy, bubbling cheese


* Note - this recipe works best with a cast-iron pan, but any stovetop-safe AND oven-safe pan will work.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees./p>

In a cold pan, place the olive oil and the chorizo slices. Place over medium-high heat. When sizzling, stir and flip the chorizo, being sure to brown both sides. When both sides are brown, remove to a paper towed lined plate./p>

In the chorizo oil, saute the poblanos until softened, 5 - 7 minutes. Meanwhile, dice 4 to 5 of the chorizo slices into small cubes./p>

When the peppers are softened, add the diced chorizo and begin adding cheese directly to the pan, one handful at a time. When all the cheese is incorporated and melted, place the pan in the oven. When all of the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, remove the pan and serve IMMEDIATELY with the slices of chorizo and your assorted dippers.


Palacios Chorizo


It's hard to overestimate the importance of chorizo in the cooking of this region of Spain. If you strolled into a tapas bar in Rioja or Vera, you'd likely see a dozen tapas taking advantage of the smoky, spicy flavor of this ubiquitous sausage. Omelets, beans, stews, salads, even simply speared on a toothpick, this cured sausage is Spain on a plate!

After nearly 10 years of enjoying this product, it's hard to imagine that there was a time when it simply wasn't available in the US.  In 1998, the US Department of Agriculture struck an agreement with Spain to allow the products from just one producer, Palacios, into the United States.  A few years later, the first shipment of Palacios Chorizo arrived in the US and our paella has never been the same!  

The chorizo from Palacios is fully cured and ready to eat. It's wonderful sliced into discs and served with cheeses like Manchego or a creamy goat cheese. But what makes this product so special is how versatile it is. Use it to flavor paella, stews, beans or saute with olive oil and vegetables like asparagus or potatoes. And you simply can't beat it with eggs - a few slices in a non-stick pan over medium heat, cooked until sizzling, with a few eggs cracked amid the crispy chorizo and spicy fat...perfection.

The sweet chorizo is made with the sweet pimenton, while the hot is made with the hot pimenton. The difference isn't enormous and the hot isn't super spicy. The difference between the two pimenton is that the hot has more of the seeds of the chile ground into it. 

8 ounces
(1 product review)
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  1. Best Chorizo in US

    Posted by stcroixkate on 24th Aug 2011

    This is by far the best Spanish chorizo I have purchased in the US. The hot has just the right amount of heat, and the sweet is bellisimo! Great in paella or an antipasto or just with some great cheese.


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