In a large, 16-inch skillet, paella pan (affiliate link), or Dutch Oven (affiliate link) with a tight-fitting lid, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, over medium heat. Add the diced Spanish Sausage and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. This renders some of the fat and a ton of flavor for the chicken and later the rice.
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides and then add them to the pan skin side down. Cook over medium heat, until browned, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for another 3 minutes; transfer to the plate with the chorizo and set aside.
Drain most of the accumulated oil leaving just enough to coat the bottom of the pan, about 1 tablespoon and return it to the stove. Into the pan with the oil, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the broken pasta pieces and toast for 1 minute. Stir in the rice to coat with the oil.
Next, add the diced onions and garlic; season with salt and pepper and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. The onions will turn translucent and have no color.
Add the paprika and stir to combine; cook to bloom the spice, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute.
Add the dry white wine to deglaze the pan [optional], stir to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add chicken stock, golden raisins, olives, peas and carrots, and chorizo into the pan. Stir well to combine and distribute the ingredients. Top with lemon slices.
Layer the chicken over the top of the rice. Reduce the stove to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, and cook for another 15 minutes.
Fluff the rice pilaf with a fork and check it’s tenderness. Transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and a sprinkling of chopped cashews.
If dried Spanish sausage isn’t available in your grocery store, a portion from a deli-style whole pepperoni stick (not sliced pepperoni) makes a great substitution. Cajun-style Andouille sausage is also a great substitution in this dish.
This is not yet fully cooked and will be returned to the pan to finish cooking with the rice in step 8. While the chicken cooks, use this time to chop the onion, slice the olives, and measure the other ingredients.
Coating the rice with oil keeps the rice from clumping for the rice pilaf.
Rueda is one of Spain’s leading white wines but if this is not available to you, try a sauvignon blanc. If you prefer not to cook with wine, simply omit the wine and increase the chicken stock by 1/2 cup.
The chicken is done when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh is 165 degrees F, the center is no longer pink, and the juices run clear.
If the rice sticks near the end of the cooking time, add a splash more chicken stock or water. Taste the rice and re-season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
Chopped pistachios or slivered almonds also make a great substitution for this dish.
Nutrition is calculated based on the recipe as written. The addition or omission of ingredients will alter the nutritional information.
Spanish Chicken and Rice Pilaf
Amount Per Serving (2 chicken thighs plus 1/4 of the rice pilaf)
Calories 992Calories from Fat 450
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 14g70%
Vitamin A 2615IU52%
Vitamin C 21.6mg26%
* (Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy, and is sourced from the USDA Food Database.