Air Fryer Chicken and Chorizo Paella — Indulge in the vibrant flavors of Spain with our tantalizing Air Fryer Chicken and Chorizo Paella recipe. This dish celebrates the Mediterranean, where tender chicken, smoky chorizo, and a symphony of aromatic spices come together perfectly.

Air Fryer Chicken and Chorizo Paella
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With the magic of the air fryer, we’ve streamlined the cooking process, making it easier than ever to savor the essence of authentic paella.

Whether you’re an experienced home chef or a novice in the kitchen, this recipe promises a delightful culinary adventure that will transport your taste buds to the sun-drenched shores of Spain. Get ready to savor every delicious bite of this mouthwatering paella from the comfort of your home.

Air Fryer Chicken and Chorizo Paella

Can You Make Paella In Air Fryer?

Yes, while traditional paella is traditionally cooked in a wide, shallow pan over an open flame, which allows for the even distribution of heat and the development of the signature socarrat (crispy layer of rice at the bottom).

While it’s not expected to cook traditional paella in an air fryer, you can create a simplified version inspired by paella in the air fryer.

The Best Chicken and Chorizo Paella Recipe

Ingredients Needed In Air Fryer Paella

Elevate your culinary repertoire with our Air Fryer Chicken and Chorizo Paella, a delightful fusion of Spanish flavors brought to life in the convenience of your air fryer. This dish embodies the essence of traditional paella, marrying saffron-infused rice, succulent chicken, and smoky chorizo, all expertly cooked to perfection.

Air Fryer Chicken and Chorizo Paella

Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.

  • Paella Rice: Paella rice, such as Bomba or Arborio rice, is essential for achieving the dish’s signature creamy yet firm texture.
  • Chicken Thighs: Tender and juicy chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces, provide a protein-rich foundation.
  • Chorizo Sausage: Smoky and flavorful chorizo sausage adds depth and a touch of heat to the dish.
  • Bell Peppers: Colorful bell peppers, diced, infuse a sweet and vibrant note.
  • Tomatoes: Diced tomatoes bring freshness and a hint of acidity.
  • Onions and Garlic: Onions and garlic form the aromatic base of the paella, imparting depth and complexity.
  • Saffron Threads (Optional): Saffron threads, steeped in hot broth, lend a distinctive golden color and subtle floral aroma.
  • Paprika: Paprika adds a smoky and earthy flavor, essential for an authentic Spanish paella.
  • Chicken Broth: Hot chicken broth, with or without saffron infusion, serves as the flavorful liquid for cooking the rice.
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil is used for sautéing the ingredients and imparting a rich, Mediterranean flavor.
  • Salt and Pepper: These seasonings enhance the overall taste and balance of the dish.
  • Lemon Wedges and Fresh Parsley: Lemon wedges and fresh parsley are the finishing touches, adding brightness and visual appeal to your paella masterpiece.

How To Make Paella In Air Fryer

Discover a modern twist on a timeless Spanish classic with our guide on making paella in the air fryer.

Air Fryer Chicken and Chorizo Paella
  • In a small bowl, steep the saffron threads (if using) in 1 tablespoon of hot water and set aside.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F (175°C). Add olive oil to an oven-safe pan or dish that fits into your air fryer basket.
  • Add the chopped onion and bell peppers to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until they soften.
Air Fryer Chicken and Chorizo Paella
  • Next, add the minced garlic, chicken pieces, and sliced chorizo to the pan. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the chicken begins to brown.
  • Stir in the Arborio rice and smoked paprika, ensuring the rice is well-coated with the flavorful mixture.
Air Fryer Chicken and Chorizo Paella (9)
  • Pour in the steeped saffron threads and the liquid, followed by the chicken or vegetable broth and diced tomatoes. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  • Place the pan or dish into the air fryer basket, ensuring it’s level and leaving enough space above it for the paella to expand as it cooks.
  • Air fry the paella at 350 degrees F (175°C) for about 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked, the liquid is absorbed, and the bottom forms a delicious crispy layer. You may want to check and stir it occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.
Air Fryer Chicken and Chorizo Paella (9)

When the paella is done, add the frozen peas to the top and let them steam for a few minutes. Serve the Air Fryer Chicken and Chorizo Paella hot, garnished with lemon wedges, and season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Air Fryer Chicken and Chorizo Paella

Recipe Variations For Air Fryer Paella

  • Air Fryer Seafood Paella: Replace the chicken and chorizo with a mix of shrimp, mussels, clams, and calamari for a classic Spanish seafood paella.
  • Vegetarian Paella: Skip the meat and use a variety of colorful vegetables like bell peppers, artichoke hearts, asparagus, and peas. You can also add meaty mushrooms for extra flavor.
Air Fryer Chicken and Chorizo Paella

Air Fryer Paella Recipe Pro Tips

  • Use the Right Rice: Traditional paella rice varieties like Bomba or Arborio are best for achieving the desired creamy texture and ability to absorb flavors without becoming mushy. Avoid using long-grain rice, which won’t yield the same results.
  • Even Ingredient Distribution: Spread the ingredients evenly across the pan to ensure consistent cooking. Avoid overcrowding the pan, which can lead to uneven cooking.
  • Layering Flavors: Build layers of flavor by sautéing onions, garlic, and spices first, then adding proteins like chicken or seafood. This allows the ingredients to release their flavors gradually.
  • Let It Rest: Allow the paella to rest briefly after air frying.
  • Garnish and Presentation: Garnish your paella with fresh lemon wedges, chopped parsley, or roasted red peppers for flavor and visual appeal.
  • Serve with Aioli: Many paella enthusiasts enjoy a dollop of aioli (garlic mayo) on their paella. It adds a creamy and garlicky element that complements the dish.
Air Fryer Paella

Air Fryer Paella Recipe Faq’s

What is the origin of paella? Paella is a traditional Spanish dish that originated in the Valencia region on the eastern coast of Spain. It has deep roots in Spanish culture and has evolved over centuries.

What type of rice is best for paella? The best rice varieties for paella are short-grain varieties like Bomba or Arborio. They can absorb flavors and maintain shape, creating the desired creamy yet firm texture.

Can I make paella without saffron? While saffron is a traditional ingredient in paella that imparts flavor and color, you can make paella without saffron. You can use a pinch of turmeric for color or omit it, and the dish will still be delicious.

Can I use a regular frying pan to make paella? While using a traditional paella pan (paellera) for an authentic experience is ideal, you can use a wide, shallow skillet or frying pan as a substitute. Just ensure it’s large enough to accommodate the ingredients without overcrowding.

Can I make paella with pre-cooked rice? While it’s not traditional, you can make a simplified version of paella using pre-cooked rice, like leftover rice from a previous meal. Remember that the texture and flavor may differ from paella made with uncooked rice.

Is paella always made with seafood? No, paella is a versatile dish made with various ingredients. While seafood paella is famous, there are many other variations, including chicken, rabbit, vegetarian, mixed, and more.

How do I achieve the crispy layer at the bottom (socarrat)? To achieve socarrat, cook the paella over medium-high heat to create a caramelized crust on the bottom. Then, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer slowly. Rotate the pan to ensure even cooking and prevent sticking.

Can I make paella in advance? Yes, paella can be made in advance and reheated. Allow it to cool, cover it, and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the oven before serving.

Can I freeze paella? Yes, you can freeze paella for later enjoyment. Allow it to cool to room temperature, then store it in an airtight container in the freezer for 2-3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator before reheating.

What should I serve with paella? Paella is often served with crusty bread, a side salad, or simple grilled vegetables. You can also offer aioli (garlic mayonnaise) as a condiment.

Air Fryer Chicken and Chorizo Paella

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Air Fryer Chicken and Chorizo Paella

Air Fryer Chicken and Chorizo Paella

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings

Description

Air Fryer Chicken and Chorizo Paella — Indulge in the vibrant flavors of Spain with our tantalizing Air Fryer Chicken and Chorizo Paella recipe.

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup Arborio rice, or another short-grain rice suitable for paella
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs , cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup chorizo sausage, sliced (choose a vegan chorizo for a vegetarian option)
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, optional, for authentic flavor
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes, or use fresh tomatoes if available
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt , to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper , to taste

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine the saffron threads (if using) with 1 tablespoon of hot water and set aside to steep.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 350°F (175°C).
  • In an oven-safe pan or dish that fits into your air fryer basket, heat a small amount of olive oil.
  • Add the chopped onion and bell peppers to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften.
  • Add the minced garlic, chicken pieces, and sliced chorizo to the pan. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the chicken begins to brown.
  • Stir in the Arborio rice and smoked paprika, ensuring the rice is well-coated with the flavors.
  • Pour in the steeped saffron threads (with the liquid), chicken or vegetable broth, and diced tomatoes. Stir well to combine.
  • Place the pan or dish into the air fryer basket. Make sure it’s level and that there’s enough space above it for the paella to expand as it cooks.
  • Air fry the paella at 350°F (175°C) for about 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked, the liquid is absorbed, and the bottom forms a delicious crispy layer. You may want to check and stir it occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.
  • When the paella is done, add the frozen peas to the top and let them steam for a few minutes.
  • Serve the air fryer chicken and chorizo paella hot, garnished with lemon wedges, and season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Equipment

  • Air Fryer
  • Cooking Spray
  • Baking Pan

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 148kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 11gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 448mgPotassium: 240mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 506IUVitamin C: 34mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 2mg

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