This savory, ONE POT CHICKEN AND RICE recipe is an easy weeknight dinner everyone will love! Juicy chicken, toasted rice and spices to tingle your taste buds.
Chicken and rice is one of those classic dishes that never goes out of style. Especially because there are so many variations… it’s hard to go wrong with such a blank canvas. And because of that, googling chicken and rice will garner recipes ranging from creamy to spicy.
I started with the idea of making a Puerto Rican arroz con pollo similar to the one in Carmen Aboy Valldejuli’s Puerto Rican Cookery. If you want to learn how to make authentic Puerto Rican dishes this is THE BOOK to learn all the things!
But here’s the rub…. Puerto Rican food is complex. It’s old fashioned, slow food that takes patience and a whole lot of ingredients. I mean you can’t easily find culantro on the mainland and no joke, her recipe calls for 23 ingredients including salt pork, ham, capers, and pimentos. I wish I had time for recipes like that everyday, but right now, I just don’t have the time.
I needed a weeknight, one-pot chicken and rice bake with lots of flavor but made with ingredients found in the average kitchen. So I looked for inspiration from a spice packet I purchased from Spicy Caribbee in Old San Juan.
It contained parsley, garlic, paprika, celery seed…. this I could manage! So I guessed the spice proportions and pulled out a bell pepper, an onion, chicken stock and some white wine. And ya’ know what? It was fantastic! The bake is flavorful thanks to the simple veggies and toasted rice.
We’ve eaten this dish five times since, making modest adjustments to get the right proportion of rice to chicken and curb the fat and calories to a reasonable portion. Many recipes call for removing the skin, but we like how it gets crispy in the oven and the flavor it imparts. It’s also important to include if you don’t use salt pork, ham or bacon.
Mostly I love that this is a one pot dinner with lots of hands off time. I chop the veggies while the chicken is browning on the stove to save time and then once the casserole goes in the oven, I can clean up before dinner.
If you want to truly make this chicken and rice in one pot, you need a skillet or pot that can go from stove to oven. At first we used our le Creuset dutch oven which works great. However this four person serving did not fill the pan, so I switched to using a cowboy skillet.
I love this old pan because it’s made of steel and light, but like cast iron, can be seasoned. I found mine at a flea market but it’s unmarked so I can’t tell you the maker It measures 11.5 inches across and 2.25 inches deep. If you’re like me and can’t lift a heavy skillet with one hand, this is a great syle of pan for you. This Never Break #9 on Etsy is the same size, but if you’re interested in purchasing a new steel pan, this article from Foodal is an excellent resource.
I love this dish because it's a hearty weeknight meal that goes from stove to oven in just one pot! This leaves plenty of time to wash up the dishes and enjoy a glass of wine while the casserole bakes.
- 1/2 teaspoon ground celery seed
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 chicken thighs (skin on, bone in)
- 1 onion , finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper , finely diced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1-1/2 cups long-grain white rice
- 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
Preheat oven to 350F
In a small bowl combine spices.
In a large skillet or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat
Pat dry chicken thighs with a paper towel and season the skin with one quarter of the spice mix
Once the butter is hot, brown the chicken with the skin side down until it's golden brown
Remove the chicken and set aside
Pour off all but one tablespoon of the fat in the pan
Add the onions and peppers with half of the remaining spices and saute until the onions are translucent
Add dry rice and saute for a couple minutes, stirring constantly
Deglaze pan with white wine and then add the chicken broth.
Let the rice absorb the liquid for a couple of minutes, then turn off the heat.
Place the chicken thighs skin up on top of the rice and sprinkle with the remaining spices.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil or a lid and bake 20 minutes
Remove cover and continue to bake until chicken reaches 160F, about 20-25 more minutes. Let the dish rest uncovered for about 5 minutes and then serve.
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