Recipes > Chicken and Chorizo Rice

Chicken And Chorizo Rice


This Spanish-inspired pilaf is made with chicken, chorizo, tomato, saffron and garlic.
  • Serves: 6 to 8
  • Active Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Views: 75,391
  • Success Rating: 96% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Preparing the Mise en Place

Preparing the Mise en Place
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 2 large onions
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 - 28 oz can whole tomatoes (with juice)
  • 2 cups tomato juice / chicken stock
  • 3 links fresh Spanish chorizos
  • 3 single chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp Spanish paprika*
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper


Preheat your oven to 200° degrees Fahrenheit.

Finely dice the celery and onions. Drain and roughly chop the tomatoes, reserving the tomato juice. Measure the tomato juice and top it up with chicken stock to equal 2 cups.

Cube the chicken and slice the chorizo into bite-sized pieces. Peel the garlic and measure out the saffron, oregano, chili flakes, paprika, salt and pepper.

*Note: For the paprika try using half regular and half hot smoked paprika. We use a brand called “La Chinata”, from Spain.

Step 2: Cooking and Serving the Dish

Cooking and Serving the Dish
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup medium-grain rice
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • sour cream or creme fraiche (optional)


To cook the dish, preheat a heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Once hot, add the oil and chorizo. Let cook for a few minutes. Stir and then add the chicken. Let the chicken cook for a few minutes, without touching it; then turn it over to cook the other side. Add a bit of salt and pepper. Check the chicken. It shouldn’t be cooked all the way through. Place into a casserole dish and keep warm in the oven while you finish the dish.

With the heat still on high, cook the onions and celery until translucent. Crush the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds; then add the rice and quickly sauté. Add the saffron, paprika, oregano and chili flakes. Deglaze with the white wine, making sure to scrape any bits off the bottom. Once the liquid has evaporated, add the tomato juice, along with the tomatoes, salt, pepper and stir everything together. Turn the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes…without peeking.

After 15 minutes, add the frozen peas and the warm chicken and chorizo. Don’t stir. Re-cover and let cook for another 10 minutes.

To finish, fold everything together and taste for seasoning. Turn off the heat and let sit for an additional 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche (optional).

Chef's Notes

For this dish, it is best to use fresh or raw Spanish chorizo, because the rendered fat and spices really permeate the dish. However, it may be hard to find in your area, as Spanish chorizo is usually cured. Instead, you can use spicy Italian sausage or a good-quality, cured Spanish chorizo. Just keep in mind that either of these will give you a slightly different result.


  • Dave W
    Dave W
    I'd add some uncooked prawns along with the chicken and chorizo when adding it to the semi-cooked rice for the last ten minutes of cooking. Dave
  • Ken J
    Ken J
    During the addition of the meats to the dish, the narrator specifies "no stirring." What's the reason for not stirring the meat? (During the chicken meat addition she says stirring will decrease the pan's temperature, but wouldn't adding the cooler meat [or any ingredient] drop the pan temperature regardless if the meat's stirred or not?) I can think of only one reason not to stir, and that's to enhance creation of the fond. Am I right?
  • Lizzie L
    Lizzie L
    I also add fresh mushrooms. This is one of my favorite dishes.
  • Joe G
    Joe G
    One of the most tempting things to do when trying to pansear food, is to jump right in and stir. In the case of this dish, watch how we add the chicken. At first, only some of it hits the bottom of the pan. If we were to spread this out all over the bottom of the pan, the cold meat would cool the pan down more. If the pan cools too much, the meat could stick and not brown properly. You want to maintain as close to the right temperature as possible. So add, don't stir, wait, wait, until the temperature rises, then stir, wait, wait, then once the chicken is hot... go to town.
  • Ken J
    Ken J
    Thanks for the reply, Joe. Now, a follow-up question: I've always read when browning/searing meat, not to crowd the meat in the pan because otherwise the meat will steam, not brown. Yet the chicken in the video is put in on top of the chorizo with no room between the pieces of meat. How does this recipe get around that?
  • Joe G
    Joe G
    Ken, You should be teaching about cooking :) Yes, if you want to brown/sear, you should not overcrowd the pan as this does result in some steaming. For this dish though, we actally end up steaming (the rice and when we add the chicken back to the pan) so a little steaming is okay. The more important thing to keep in mind here is to maintain pan temperature. Temperatures in cooking are one of the more important element in my opinion. The video does not show it too well (my apologies) but I actually stacked the chicken up a bit to avoid covering the entire bottom of the pan. Again, I wanted to gradually heat the chicken up before stiring around. Add and wait.... Hope this makes sense. Joe
  • Kevin R
    Kevin R
    I made this dish last night and it turned out great. I would be interested in a wine recommendation for deglazing though, as I used an interestingly flavoured, and quite strong, Spanish white and it affected the flavour of the dish a lot.
  • Guy A
    Guy A
    Made this last night. Great taste and an easy one pan meal. I added prawns at the final stir and kept the lid on for 10 minutes off the heat - turned out perfect.
  • Patrick O
    Patrick O
    First time I made this I was unable to get fresh Chorizo, so I used cured and added it with the chicken instead of before. My family liked it so much I made it the very next week but I used fresh sausages and followd the recipe exactly. It was even better. We drank an Austrian Grüner Veltliner and it was a perfect match.
  • Ruth H
    Ruth H
    For me it is always about taste accompanied by how my plate looks when ready to serve. I am trying this recipe for the first time tonight for my sons girlfriends parents (first meeting of the families) and want everything perfect. I guess I have to buy some nice little casserolettes to place on the main dinner plate surrounded by the vegies??? I thought I'd accompany with the french green beans and the baked carrots, both easy additions and figure out some other garnish yeah shopping!
  • Patrick O
    Patrick O
    Kevin, the main reason for the wine is to add the acidity (thats why you always cook off the alcohol). You'll find many recipes calling for either wine, lemon juice, or vinegar and all for the same reason; acidity to balance the flavours of the dish. When choosing wine for this dish its best to use an acidic white that's has very little to no oak. Options that come to mind are Spanish Albariño, Austrain Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Gris/Grigio, dry reisling, and unoaked Sauvignon Blancs. Also, I never cook with a wine that I won't drink and often I'll cook with the same wine that I'm using to accompany the meal. Cheers!
  • Joe G
    Joe G
    @Ruth H. Green beans and the baked carrots are a good choice. If you are looking for another option, a nice salad would go well with this one for sure - maybe even as a starter. The spinach salad with goat cheese and maple walnut dressing is amazing. Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
  • Valerie J
    Valerie J
    Once again Rouxbe has made me look like a true chef. This recipe was so full of flavor and a breeze to make. I used the cured Chorizo, not knowing that my grocery had the fresh, but it was still very good. I also added the prawns which added that extra texture. Next time I will use the fresh Chorizo for sure. Thanks again Rouxbe!
  • Paul R
    Paul R
    So I made this dish the other week, and it went really well. I certainly recommend it. However, I would like to say that the onions and celery took way too long to reduce, and were a bit overpowering in the dish. I would personally cut back to 1 Vidalia Online, or 2 smaller sweet onions for this dish. I also would cut back a bit on the saffron threads as the dish turned out a bit too bitter from the Saffron, I would add about 1/2 a tsp of threads. Lastly, make really sure you don't add a bitter wine... I used a local variety that I thought was more of a Pinot, and turned out to be more of a Resiling which killed a lot of the flavors in the dish. I think the wine adds a lot to the overall taste of the dish and choosing the right wine is paramount to your success with this dish, so make sure you choose something that either has a very clean flavor or isn't too overpowering to rule out the saffron and paprika. Good Luck! and it really is a great dish. -Paul
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Hi Paul, thanks for your feedback. Glad you like the dish...good suggestions. By the way, I love your "SuperStar" profile picture :-)
  • Liz S
    Liz S
    I don't usually make this type of recipe as I am not a sausage eater but I found this dish to be very tasty. I bought spicy chiken chorizo at Trader Joe's in Washington as I couldn't find Spanish. I have no idea what the difference in taste would be. I had to cook the rice a little longer ( I used jasmine and don't know if that is a medium rice). I also followed the suggestion to reduce the saffron - I don't find it overpowering but I do find it expensive:) I think I was tempted to try this because of all the comments. I enjoy reading them and especially got a chuckle out of all the name changes:) I guess I am now a suasage eater as I was eating those pieces before the chicken.
  • Jared B
    Jared B
    I want to make this for Superbowl Sunday, but to ease the cooking burden I'd like to cook the dish on Saturday. It seems like the type of thing that might actually be better a day later... thoughts?
  • Joe G
    Joe G
    This actually might not be the best dish for making the day ahead unless you are very careful (food safety-wise). Few considerations: 1. Rice needs be cooled quickly after cooking if you are going to save it for the next day. You can do this by spreading it out flat on a baking tray right after cooking to cool before refrigerating it, not before. 2. If you did decide to make this the day ahead, which you could, you'd also have to ENSURE that you bring the entire dish and all the ingredients back up to 165 - 170 degrees Fahrenheit or higher to ensure that it is food safe. 3. The rice will also absorb all the liquid in the dish so you will have to add additional liquid when reheating (stock or tomato juice) or it will be quite dry. So it can be done ahead, but my suggestion would be to prep everything the day ahead instead (this is really what takes all the time). Then about an hour before you want to eat, it will only take you only about 15 minutes to throw it together, slap on the lid and then you can head back to the game while it cooks on low heat. will make your house smell amazing while it's cooking and everyone will be salivating. Hope this helps.
  • Jared B
    Jared B
    I tinkered with this recipe in the following ways: 1. Following Paul R.'s advice, I only used one onion and one stalk of celery; 2. I used an extra link of chorizo (because who doesn't like more chorizo?); 3. I omitted tomatoes entirely, as I just don't care for tomato chunks; 4. I used 2 cups of chicken stock instead of the tomato juice/stock mix; 5. Lastly, I deglazed with red rather than white wine – didn't have white on hand. And it was delicious! One minor quibble – the chicken doesn't absorb as much flavor as I'd like, and is bland compared with the chorizo. Perhaps there's a way to marinate the chicken ahead of time in compatible spices. But again – it's only a minor quibble. As a bonus, the leftovers microwave well. That's not what chefs want to hear, I know; but when my wife brings lunch to her teaching job, it's how things have to be heated up.
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Thanks Jared for sharing your tweaks...sounds good. For the chicken you bring up an interesting could try brining it first for added moisture and flavor. Or like you said marinating it would also be a good idea...even just some garlic, lemon juice and olive oil would be nice. As for microwaving the leftovers....if it works! It's better than going out for some fast-food for lunch!
  • Marsel N
    Marsel N
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    I love Nasi Goreng, do you have a good recipe for it? If so you should post it in the Test Kitchen. Cheers!
  • Romeo G
    Romeo G
    hi when can i find that pot you are using??
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    The particular pot we used is a Mario Batali pot. Another similar pot that we use (almost all the time) is from Le Creuset. I highly recommend these pots, in particular the Le Creuset pots. Cheers!
  • Siew eng Y
    Siew eng Y
    After deglazing the pot with the white wine, can I transfer everything into a rice cooker, add the rice and tomato juice/stock and let the rice cooker do the job?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    I don't see why not...I say, give it a try! Good luck and feel free to let us know how it turned out in the rice cooker.
  • Mike P
    Mike P
    I made this the other day and it was a great hit with me and my family. I used cooked chorizo since it's all I had available and it was still good. Normally I always make sure the chicken is fully cooked BEFORE I take it out of a dish but your recipe suggested partially cooked at that point and it worked out better. Really enjoying! Thanks again.
  • Siew eng Y
    Siew eng Y
    I don't know what went wrong...when I transfered everything into the rice cooker to cook, the rice got burnt at the bottom and the rest of it was quite soggy, apparently overcooked. Should I cut back on the liquid?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Not sure exactly went wrong for you as I have never cooked this in a rice cooker. Also, I am not sure of your rice cooker and how it works. I think that perhaps you may just have to do as you suggested and try using less water next time. Cheers!
  • Aileen F
    Aileen F
    I love this recipe and decided that I would try with brown rice to add some whole grain. I used 2.75 cups of liquid for 1 cup of brown rice and while the rice absorbed most of the liquid (after cooking for 1.5 hours with a heavy lid), the rice did not cook through. Most of the rice was quite crunchy. It was very strange! We had waited so long that I couldn't give it anymore time - usually brown rice is cooked in 40 minutes. I think I will stick to white rice for this recipe.
  • Bryan L
    Bryan L
    I count this "experiment" (I'm no longer calling them recipes) a real success; not because it was well received and liked, but because I learned some things. I didn't have saffron threads so substituted ground saffron (1/4 tsp); it was too strong. The rice was underdone so I added ten minutes off the heat at the end; which made the chicken dry. While the onion was tender, the celery was not. I used a Mexican Chorizo which (with the pepper flakes) made it a little too hot for my wife. Learned: 1. Trust instinct and become more involved in the process; I should have actually tasted the celery for doneness early on. 2. Again,should have checked the rice for doneness before adding chicken back. 3. When changing some of the ingredients, always consider their effect on the other ingredients (especially when it comes to heat). 4. When I don't know an absolute equivalent (saffron), add very little at a time and taste. In this case 1/8 tsp saffron would have been plenty. 5. This was the first time I truly used Mise en Place. I have to say the whole process never felt like work, and I never got "temperamental" :o) Still, it was good enough to eat and to consider making again. More, it has helped me to get my head away from the "follow the recipe" mentality and more toward engaging the process, and learning to trust my instincts.
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    We can't tell you how happy we are to hear about your success and realizations. You TOTALLY get it Bryan. You are now one of those cooks that has transitioned to the "other side" ;-) Keep up the great work!
  • Bryan L
    Bryan L
    Thanks Dawn, I surely appreciate the encouragement . . . . . . and may the force be with you ;o)
  • Gloria M
    Gloria M
    Sounds delicious! Do you happen to know where on Vancouver Island I might be able to buy San Marzano tomatoes? Or a decent substitute?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Just try to find tomatoes that do not contain citric acid etc. (as per the canned tomato Drill-down). As for San Marzano you might want to try calling some of the local Italian shops and/or higher end grocers. I used to live in Victoria and I am sure you will be able to find them. I also know that Victoria has some great restaurants so you could always try calling some of them as well. Hope this helps. Cheers!
  • Timothy C
    Timothy C
    Achiote Chicken With Chorizo Saffron Rice and peas Marinade for Chicken: 2 oz Achiote Paste 6 Tb lime juice 2 Tb vinegar (I use red wine vinegar) 2 Tb oil (I use grapeseed) 1 tsp dried oregano ½ tsp dried cumin 1 tsp Chili powder (use Mexican Molido if you can find it) 2 cloves garlic minced 1 Tb chipotle adobo sauce (use 2 or 3 of the peppers for more heat) 2 tsp salt 1 tsp black pepper ½ tsp cayenne pepper ¼ tsp cinnamon 1 Tb dried Cilantro Mash the Achiote paste in a bowl and add the other ingredients and mix well it makes about a cup and is good on grilled meats, seafood and poultry.   For the Main dish: 3 chicken breasts cubed (place in marinade for at least 1 hour) 3 links of Chorizo (either Mexican or Spanish will work) 2 stalks of celery (medium dice) 2 lg onions (medium dice) 4-6 cloves of garlic (minced) 1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes with juice (I use plum and dice into chunks) 2 cups of chicken stock 2 tsp Saffron threads 3 tsp dried oregano ½ tsp chili flakes (you can add more to your taste) 1-2 Tb Spanish Paprika (Hungarian works just fine) 2 tsp kosher salt (or course sea salt) 2 tsp ground black pepper 1 cup of medium grain rice ( I prefer Valencia rice for this dish but any parboiled rice will work) ½ cup wine ( I use Sherry but white or red works just as well) ¼ olive oil or canola 10-12 Pequin chili’s (if you cant find them leave them out) 8 oz frozen peas ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped (save a few leaves for garnish) Sour cream or Crème Fraiche as a condiment Other things you may add: ½ cup each of roasted red and yellow bell peppers 8 oz frozen or fresh corn Making the dish: Heat the ¼ cup of olive oil over medium heat and toss in the Pequin peppers and cook them for 2-3 minutes and then remove and discard them. Add the chorizo (if Mexican chorizo remove from casing and break it up) If Spanish hard chorizo cut into slices and cook for 3-4 minutes to release the oil and start the browning, next move the chorizo to the side and add in the chicken reserving the remaining marinade to add later. Let the chicken cook for a few minutes before turning it to allow it to caramelize, do not fully cook the chicken. After about 5 minutes add the remaining marinade and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove the chicken and chorizo and keep warm (do not remove the oil you were cooking in). Add the celery and onions and cook until translucent, then add the garlic cook for 1 minute and then add the rest of the dried herbs and spices, stir to mix well and then add in the rice and sauté for 1 minute. Deglaze with the wine and scrape the bottom to get the browned bits loose, once the wine has evaporated add the tomatoes and the chicken stock and bring to a boil, as soon as it comes to a boil reduce to a simmer cover and let cook for 15 minutes without peeking. At the end of 15 minutes remove the lid and add the frozen peas and the warm chicken and chorizo do not stir at this point. Put the lid back on and leave for another 10 minutes remove the lid add the cilantro and fold everything together adjust seasoning as required and allow to sit off the heat for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with the sour cream or Crème Fraiche and fresh cilantro.
  • Alan W
    Alan W
    Why is the temperatue at 200 degrees when "Transfer to a casserole dish and keep warm while you finish the dish." Are you not just keeping the chicken warm? Take too much time and the chicken is cooking at 200?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    We keep the oven on low so the chicken does not overcook while you finish the rest of the dish. Yes, you are just keeping it warm in the interim. Cheers!
  • Rebecca B
    Rebecca B
    I watched the chorizo video but didn't get a great sense of the differences between Spanish and Mexican soft chorizo. As you probably guessed from the nature of my question, I substituted Mexican soft chorizo (without a casing) for the Spanish soft chorizo found in the recipe because I didn't find Spanish soft chorizo in the local stores that I frequent. I'm wondering if the differences in flavor would justify a mail order for this ingredient? I thought this recipe tasted amazing with the Mexican chorizo. I also tried Timothy C's marinade for the chicken. It was very good -- really, pretty similar to the achiote marinade recipe from this site's archives. I thought the saffron level was perfect for this recipe. I also tried the spinach salad with the maple walnut dressing with this recipe. The flavor combination was fantastic. Thanks for the recommendations.
  • Myles S
    Myles S
    You asked your question on Monday, so I'll give it a go! Short answer; No need to mail order in my opinion. Spanish chorizo is smoked/cured and for the most part can be eaten as is, no cooking required. Although, thats not to say raw Spanish chorizo isn't produced, it is but harder to find as you mentioned and must be cooked. Mexican chorizo; raw must be cooked. Taste: Spanish has more of a smoke flavor do too the process and the smoked paprika/pimentón ahumada used in abundance. You can add more smoked paprika to your raw/crudo Mexican chorizo and have similar flavors. Mexico does have cured/seco(dried) chorizo; a familiar brand is Alanís Selecto; which I believe is imported to the states. Ask you grocer or specialty shop for it or if they have any chorizo seco, essentially Spanish chorizo. With that said: if you want the real deal look for Longaniza. This is the freshest of all and extruded into natural casings, giving it a unique and authentic flavor. You can poach or bake in the casings and then slice into rounds to fry or use in other preparations. a whole fried sausage on a roll with sweet(red/yellow/orange)peppers. You have many more options with preparation when using longaniza and the flavor is incredible. Hope this helps.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Excellent commentary, Myles! You are a wealth of knowledge and I appreciate the effort you extended. Thanks again and keep on cooking with Rouxbe.
  • Rebecca B
    Rebecca B
    It looks like I forgot to tag this discussion board to my email, so I missed your response until I went back today. I will definitely be making this recipe again and since I have more Mexican soft chorizo in my fridge, I will just add a bit of smoked paprika to make up the difference. Based on your thorough write up, I do think that I want to find Longazina and give that a try. I'm wondering if the Longazina is spicier (hotter) than the Mexican chorizo, which would be consistent with cured Spanish chorizo that I have on hand at all times because it is such a versatile amendment to other dishes. Thanks again!
  • Bilbo B
    Bilbo B
    Thank you very much for teaching me how to cook. I have made this dish several times now and have made mistakes every time. Yet every time I improve and learn more about the process of cooking. I feel a lot more confident in the kitchen now. It is fantastic to be able to make something truly delicious by following both recipes and your instincts, as I have done several times now through this course.
  • Nohad M
    Nohad M
    I don't see any rice ingredient listed. How much raw rice?
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Nohad, Step 2 calls for 1 cup medium-grain rice.

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