One-Pot Wonders

Chicken and Rice

June 19, 2013
2 Ratings
Photo by Romulo Yanes
  • Makes 4 servings
Author Notes

One of the world's great one?pot dishes.

Saffron (as you probably know if you're using it) is not cheap. Fortunately a little goes a long way.

Don't be intimidated by cooking chicken and rice in the same pan. It's no harder than cooking either ingredient on its own. You may need to monitor the moisture in the pan toward the end of cooking, but as long as you resist the urge to uncover the skillet and stir, it will come out great.

Short?grain rice is classic here, but if you like rice less sticky and more fluffy, use long?grain rice. You'll probably need to add the extra liquid in Step 3. —Mark Bittman

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 whole cut-up chicken or about 3 pounds parts whole cut-up
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups short-grain white rice
  • 1 pinch saffron threads, optional
  • 3 1/2 cups water, chicken stock, or vegetable stock, or more as needed
  • 1 cup peas (frozen are fine; no need to thaw them)
  • 2 limes, quartered, for serving
  1. Put the oil in a large skillet over medium?high heat. When it's hot, add the chicken, skin side down. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, undisturbed but adjusting the heat so the chicken sizzles but doesn't burn, until the pieces release easily from the pan, 5 to 10 minutes. Then turn and rotate them every few minutes to brown them evenly. As the chicken pieces brown, after another 5 to 10 minutes, remove them from the pan.
  2. Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium and pour or spoon off most of the oil so that only 2 tablespoons remain. Add the onions to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until they soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and rice; cook, stirring, until the rice is glossy and coated with oil. Crumble in the saffron threads if you're using them.
  3. Return the chicken to the pan, add the water, and stir gently to combine everything. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat so it bubbles gently but steadily. Cover the skillet and cook, undisturbed, for 20 minutes, then check the rice and chicken. The goal is to have the liquid absorbed, the rice tender, and the chicken cooked through. If the rice is dry but nothing is ready, add another ¼ cup water and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. The meat is done when a quick?read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 155–165°F.
  4. Remove the skillet from the heat. Taste the rice and adjust the seasoning. Add the peas, then cover the pan again and let it sit for 5 to 15 minutes. Fish the chicken out of the pan and transfer it to a serving platter. Fluff the rice with a fork, spoon it around the chicken, add the lime wedges, and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • toddnyc
  • Wyobreeze1
  • Dina Moore-Tzouris
    Dina Moore-Tzouris
  • amysarah
My books include the bestselling How to Cook Everything and Vegan Before 6 P.M. (VB6), where I provide all the necessary tools for making the switch to a Flexitarian diet with lists for stocking the pantry, strategies for eating away from home in a variety of situations, pointers for making cooking on a daily basis both convenient and enjoyable, and a complete 28-day eating plan showing VB6 in action.

14 Reviews

Carole S. September 3, 2013
I make something very similar using jasmine rice and curry powder 2 tablespoons which is very tasty, all in a large oven dish, fry the pieces first then use the same dish to finish in the oven.
Tanai June 29, 2013
Recipe says "a pinch." That's a standard way of referring to something less than 1/8 of a teaspoon, just a tiny amount. The author mentions that a little goes a long way. That's very true. Saffron adds very little flavor -- more of an aroma -- and color. You're more apt to add too much than too little when it comes to saffron.
amysarah June 30, 2013
yes, thanks, familiar with saffron. when the recipe was first posted saffron didn't appear in the ingredient list at all. Thanks to whomever for correcting that!
Brown C. June 24, 2013
@Carolph - soak the brown rice for an hour before cooking. That helps to soften the rice grains. You may also need to add more liquid towards the end of step 3. If the chicken is already cooked but the rice is not cooked to the desired texture, you can remove the chicken pieces and add the additional liquid to continue cooking the rice. Add back the chicken just before removing from the heat, and allow the chicken to warm up in the rice before serving.
Brown C. June 24, 2013
You can use a TINY PINCH of ground turmeric in place of saffron. Turmeric has strong colour and flavour, so a tiny pinch is more than enough to flavour and colour the dish. Add the turmeric in step 2 when you add garlic and rice. The garlic can be added earlier, at the same time as the onions.
Mars June 24, 2013
I love Arroz con Pollo (Chicken and Rice) If you like the yellow of Saffron but not the cost or even the flavor for that matter. You can use flavorless natural coloring from the Annatto seed (most commonly used for orange cheddar cheese). It's mainly used in Spanish rice. You can by it ground or whole. I tsp of ground Annatto goes a long way!
hac-n-sac June 24, 2013
Garnish with cilantro and sliced almond - if company is coming.
toddnyc June 24, 2013
Substituted white wine for one cup of stock. Added one T of herbes de Provence
tail.feathers June 24, 2013
@carolph, I'd probably use the same ratios for quinoa as it cooks nearly the same time as short grain white. Brown rice takes about twice as long to cook, so be careful about overcooking the chicken. Unless you use dark meats only. Then they should be fine. All just my opinion, of course :)
Wyobreeze1 June 24, 2013
Substituted Jasmine rice and I am in love!
Carolph June 24, 2013
What changes would you make if using brown rice instead of white? or Quinoa?
Dina M. June 24, 2013
amysarah June 24, 2013
The saffron appears in the intro and the instructions, but not in the ingredient idea of how much to crumble in please?
pamadden1 June 24, 2013
Thank you. I noticed that, also.