Chicken and Chorizo Paella with Roasted Red Peppers
Paella is traditionally made in a wide, shallow pan over a wood-burning fire, but since that isn’t an option for most of us, here the classic has been adapted for a slow cooker. If your slow cooker doesn’t have a flameproof insert, you can start the recipe in a large fry pan and then transfer the contents of the pan to your slow cooker before you stir in the roasted peppers. Be sure to use cured Spanish chorizo, which is different from fresh Mexican chorizo.
- 2 lb. (1 kg) bone-in chicken thighs, skinned (about 4 large thighs)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- About 12 oz. (375 g) cured Spanish-style chorizo sausage, casings removed, quartered lengthwise and sliced
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. sweet smoked paprika
- 1 can (14 1/2 oz./455 g) diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 1/4 cups (10 fl. oz./310 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) dry white wine
- 1 large pinch saffron threads, crumbled
- 1 cup (8 oz./250 g) chopped jarred roasted red peppers
- 2 cups (14 oz./440 g) short- or medium-grain white rice
- Boiling water, if needed
- 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) thawed frozen peas
- 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
Season the chicken evenly with salt and pepper.
Put a flameproof slow-cooker insert (or a large fry pan) on the stove top over medium-high heat, then add the olive oil and warm until hot. Add the chorizo, onion, garlic and paprika and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened and the mixture is fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, broth, wine, saffron, 1 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper and bring to a boil.
Transfer the insert to the slow cooker (or transfer the contents of the fry pan to a slow cooker), stir in the roasted peppers and immerse the chicken thighs in the mixture. Cover and cook on the low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours. The chicken should be tender.
Uncover and, using a large spoon, skim off and discard any fat from the surface of the cooking liquid. Transfer the chicken thighs to a cutting board and remove and discard the bones and any fat or gristle. Shred or chop the chicken into large chunks. Return the chicken to the slow cooker and stir in the rice. Re-cover and cook on the high-heat setting until the rice is tender, 45 to 60 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking so the rice cooks evenly. If the rice gets dry toward the end of cooking, stir in up to 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) boiling water.
Uncover, stir in the peas, re-cover, and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes to heat the peas through.
Spoon the paella onto a large platter and serve immediately with the lemon wedges on the side for squeezing. Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Quick Slow Cooking, by Kim Laidlaw (Weldon Owen, 2014)