Mexican Paella


This South-of-the-border paella includes Mexican chorizo, a spicy, freshly ground pork sausage that's not to be confused with its dry-cured Spanish cousin. The dinner recipe comes from chef Rick Bayless.


  • 3 ¼ cups store-bought low-sodium chicken broth

  • Coarse salt

  • 1 large poblano pepper

  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes in their juices, preferably fire-roasted

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 6 chicken thighs

  • ½ medium onion, chopped

  • ½ cup (4 ounces) Mexican chorizo sausage, casings removed

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 cups medium-grain rice

  • ½ pound medium-large shrimp, peeled, tail-on, if desired, and deveined

  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 2 tablespoons silver tequila (optional)


  1. Place chicken broth and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a medium saucepan. Cover and heat over low heat.

  2. Over a low gas flame or under the broiler, roast poblano pepper, turning frequently, until charred, about 5 minutes over flame or 10 minutes under broiler. Remove from heat and cover with a clean kitchen towel until cool enough to handle. Rub off charred skin using a paper towel; remove stem and seeds. Rinse pepper and pat dry; cut into 1/2-inch strips; set aside.

  3. Place tomatoes and their juices in the jar of a blender. Blend until smooth; set aside.

  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch paella pan over medium-high heat. Season skin side of chicken thighs with salt and place skin-side down in pan; season with salt. Cook until skin is deep golden, about 10 minutes. Turn and cook until chicken is browned and juices run clear, about 10 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a large rimmed baking sheet and set aside.

  5. Reduce heat to medium and add onion and chorizo. Cook, stirring, until chorizo is cooked through and onion begins to brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add reserved poblano pepper and tomato puree. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and oil begins to separate from mixture, about 5 minutes.

  6. Add rice to pan and cook, stirring, until rice turns milky white in color, 4 to 5 minutes. Add heated chicken broth and stir to combine. Cook, without stirring, until rice has absorbed most of the liquid and is almost cooked through, about 12 minutes.

  7. Return chicken to pan and nestle into the center of the rice. Arrange shrimp in a ring around the chicken and the mussels in the rice at the edge of the pan. Cover the pan with a piece of parchment paper-lined aluminum foil; transfer to oven and bake for 15 minutes.

  8. Remove paella from oven and stir in peas, parsley, and tequila, if desired. Using a large serving spoon, gently fluff mussels and shrimp into rice mixture. Re-cover and let stand for 10 minutes until rice and shellfish are cooked through. Serve immediately.

    Mexican Paella
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