What exactly is paella? It’s a rice-based meal from the region of Valencia in Spain and usually includes saffron rice, a variety of meats, seafood, and vegetables. Basically, a one-pot meal that is full of flavor and proteins that is oh, so tasty! If you go to Spain, you’ll typically see this dish prepared in a paella pan, which is a skillet-like pan with a wide diameter and angled sides. Paella can be cooked on a grill or oven and is traditionally a dish that takes some time to prepare.
I absolutely love the flavors of paella, but don’t necessarily have the time to monitor the pan to ensure even cooking. Shrimp and Chorizo Paella in the Slow Cooker is the perfect solution to making this dish easy, increasing the chances of it being included in your regular rotation of meals. There is some cooking in a skillet that is needed at the beginning, but once that is finished, the slow cooker does most of the work.
Prepping the Ingredients
Start by slicing the chorizo into coins, using a Gourmet Prep Knife.
Using a 7-5/8″ Petite Chef, slice off the stem side of the onion and cut it in half from root to stem. Remove skin and then make slices from stem to root along the radius of the onion, being careful not to cut through the root end. Rotate the onion and cut crosswise to dice.
Using the same knife, cut the top off the bell pepper and cut off each quarter of the pepper from the core. Cut the quarters into planks, turn and cut crosswise to dice.
Chop the drained sundried tomatoes using a 4″ Gourmet Paring Knife.
Making the Paella
Start by heating a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and adding the chopped chorizo. Cook until the chorizo is browned, approximately five minutes. Remove the sausage with a Slotted Spoon and place on a plate with paper towels to remove any excess fat or grease.
Keeping the drippings in the skillet and still over medium heat, add the onion and green pepper, and cook until the vegetables are slightly softened, approximately four to five minutes. Add the rice and garlic, and toast for one minute while stirring mixture. Add the wine and stir together for another minute.
Remove the skillet from the heat and pour the contents into the slow cooker. Add the stock, sundried tomatoes, diced tomatoes, salt, paprika, saffron threads and cooked chorizo. Cover and cook on high for approximately three hours or until the rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. If the liquid is absorbed before the rice is tender, simply add additional cooking stock.
Remove the cover of the slow cooker and add the deveined shrimp and peas, stirring to incorporate into the mixture. Cover and cook on high for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the shrimp is pink. Turn off the slow cooker and scoop the paella onto a plate, sprinkle with fresh oregano and serve with a lemon wedge.
While not the traditional method of preparing paella, Shrimp and Chorizo Paella in the Slow Cooker is the compromise worth taking. The flavors are bold, the rice tender and the chorizo and shrimp are perfectly cooked. Wow your next crowd with this dish!
Shrimp and Chorizo Paella in the Slow Cooker
- 12 ounces Spanish chorizo, sliced into coins on the bias
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1-1/2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups unsalted chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1-1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- Pinch saffron threads, optional
- 1-1/2 pounds medium-sized raw shrimp, peeled and deveined with no tail
- 10-ounce package frozen sweet peas, thawed
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- Over medium heat, heat a large nonstick skillet. Add the chorizo and cook until the sausage is browned, stirring so it’s evenly cooked for approximately 5 minutes.
- Remove the sausage from the skillet with a slotted spoon and place on a plate with paper towels to drain the excess fat and grease from the sausage.
- Do not drain the skillet. Add the onion and pepper to the skillet, cooking over medium heat until the vegetables are slightly softened, around 4 minutes.
- Add the rice and garlic, stirring the mixture for 1 minute, allowing the rice to toast.
- Add the wine and mix ingredients together, stirring for 1 minute.
- Remove the skillet from heat and pour the mixture into the slow cooker. Stir in the stock, sundried tomatoes, diced tomatoes, salt, smoked paprika, saffron threads and cooked chorizo.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for approximately 3 hours, until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Note: Slow cookers are different so make sure to check the mixture often.
- Remove the cover and add the shrimp and peas, stirring to incorporate into the mixture. Cover and cook (on high) for 10 to 15 minutes. When the shrimp is pink, it is done.
- Serve on a plate with some fresh oregano sprinkled on top and lemon wedges.