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Chickpea and Chorizo Paella

(recipe, Matthew Card)


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Introduction

Seared shrimp or squid, grilled chicken, or roasted rabbit may also be added to this paella. For a vegetarian option, omit the chorizo, increase the olive oil to 4 tablespoons, and use all vegetable stock or a combination of chickpea cooking liquid and vegetable broth.

Ingredients

  1. 6 to 8 oz. Spanish chorizo, sliced in half lengthwise and cut crosswise on the bias into ½-inch thick slices
  2. 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1 medium red or yellow onion, minced
  4. 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, plus 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. Salt
  6. 4 tsp. paprika, regular, or equal parts regular and smoked (using all smoked paprika imparts too strong a flavor)
  7. Large pinch saffron, threads crumbled
  8. 1½ cups Calasparra, Bomba, or Arborio rice
  9. 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  10. 4 cups chicken broth (or up to 2 cups chickpea cooking liquid)
  11. 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
  12. 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes, well drained
  13. ¾ cup roasted red peppers (preferably piquillo if you can find them), rinsed, patted dry, and thinly sliced
  14. 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  15. 4 scallions, root ends and tops trimmed, thinly sliced on the bias
  16. 1 lemon, cut into wedges for serving

Steps

  1. Add the chorizo to a 12-inch skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain; remove all but one tablespoon of the rendered fat from the skillet.
  2. Add the olive oil, onion, sliced garlic, and large pinch salt; cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining garlic, paprika, and saffron, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and paprika has darkened, 1 minute. Stir in the rice; add thyme and broth, and bring to a simmer.
  3. Stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula to redistribute the broth and rice, cook for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the chickpeas, tomatoes, and red peppers evenly over the top. Cook uncovered, without stirring, until the liquid is completely absorbed and the rice is tender, about 10 minutes longer. Sprinkle peas, cooked chorizo, and scallions over the rice; cover, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Note

Palacios chorizo is a particularly good Spanish brand that is widely available. If you can’t find the chorizo, rice, paprika, or piquillo peppers at a specialty store in your area, try The Spanish Table, an importer of Spanish foodstuffs and cookware. Read more about garbanzos in Matthew Card's feature on chickpeas.