Hispanic Heritage Month is a vibrant and exciting time, full of color, energy, and most importantly, flavors. Continuing our gastronomic journey, this week we are partnering with the acclaimed Chef Rosana to indulge in a culinary classic, her special Chicken & Chorizo Paella. Not only will we delve into this savory recipe, but we will also discover the perfect wines to elevate this dish to celestial heights.
CHEF ROSANA’S CHICKEN & CHORIZO PAELLA
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
1/4 cup Spanish onion, diced
4 ounces tomato puree
1/8 teaspoon Spanish Smoked Paprika (Pimenton de la Vera)
1/4 cup diced Spanish chorizo
1 lb chicken thighs, cut into ½-inch cubes
1/2 cup Spanish bomba rice
Pinch of saffron
3 cups hot, high-quality chicken stock
1/4 cup White wine, optional
Sweet Green peas, optional
Red Piquillo Pepper strips, optional
How to Make It:
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a 10" paella pan over medium heat.
Add chicken and spread in an even layer. Season with salt. Cook on both sides until the chicken is light brown. Remove and set aside to add later.
Add 2 more Tbsp of oil to paellera. Stir in the onion & garlic and cook until the onion is translucent approximately 3 minutes.
Add chorizo and cook until the oils release, and the chorizo is fragrant.
Add paprika. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato puree and stir to combine.
Add rice, stirring to coat the rice with the sauce. Cook for approximately 5 minutes.
Return the chicken to the paellera and stir with the rice.
Add half the hot stock & bring to a boil, add the saffron , and season with salt. Stir the rice during the first 5 minutes while boiling, then lower the heat and simmer for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
Do not stir the rice again as it may cause it to cook unevenly. As the stock dries keep adding stock until rice blooms and is tender. The paella is finished when the rice has absorbed all of the liquid.
Remove the paella from the heat, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let the paella rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Garnish with sweet green peas and peppers, optional.
The Best Wines to Pair with Paella
Paella, with its rich, savory flavors, aromatic spices, and hearty ingredients, requires a wine that can complement without overshadowing.
Rosés: These wines, known for their pink hues, are the midway between the lightness of white wines and the depth of reds. With a fresh and crisp palate, rosés are known to be versatile. A rosé will contrast the richness of the chorizo and the chicken while harmonizing with the smoked paprika's mild spice. Spanish rosés, or Rosado, from regions like Navarra, which often have a deeper hue and a juicy, vibrant red fruit character, are particularly fitting.
Light Reds: For those who lean towards reds but want something that won't dominate the dish, light red wines are an excellent choice. Think of Spanish Garnacha, which has a delicate balance of fruit-forward notes and subtle hints of spice. Another great option is a young Rioja, which often boasts juicy cherry flavors with a subtle earthiness. These wines will dance alongside the paella, highlighting the smokiness of the chorizo and the deep flavors of the sautéed chicken.
As we indulge in Chef Rosana’s delectable paella, let's raise a glass to the vibrant and diverse Hispanic culture. Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month has never tasted so good. Salud! 🍷🥘
More about Chef Rosana:
For over 15 years, Rosana Rivera has been a renowned entrepreneur and chef in Tampa Bay, co-founding beloved local eateries. Now, she's launching "Chef Rosana," an e-commerce brand offering gourmet foods and unique kitchenware. With three generations of Puerto Rican cooks influencing her, Rosana blends culinary artistry with entrepreneurial spirit.