One-Pot Wonders

One-Pan Baked Chicken and Armenian Vermicelli Rice Pilaf

November 16, 2021
2 Ratings
Photo by Anais Babajanian
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 50 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Chicken and rice is one of those combinations that always seems to warm your soul and make you feel like you’re home. Almost every culture has a version of it, and for good reason - it’s quick, tasty, and nourishing. Growing up, we’d often go over to my second cousins’ house for family gatherings, and their mom, Siran, would always prepare a huge pot of the most delicious Armenian rice pilaf with browned vermicelli noodles. It was (and still is) the most unctuous, buttery, amazing rice I have ever had.

This is my attempt to mimic this dish, but make it a complete meal that happens all in one pan. The chicken thighs are marinated using a version of a traditional Armenian spice rub called chaimen and are then baked in the oven on top of the rice. The result is the easiest, tastiest one-pan chicken and rice you’ll ever make. Click below to watch how to make it, and let me know if you tried it by tagging me on IG -@anaisbabajanian! —Anais Babajanian

What You'll Need
  • Chicken marinade
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1.5 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Vermicelli rice pilaf
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1.5 cups long-grain rice
  • 3/4 cup vermicelli pasta, broken up into 1-inch pieces
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl, and stir well.
  2. Place chicken in a medium-sized bowl, and pour marinade onto them. Use your hands to massage the marinade all over the chicken thighs so they’re all well-coated in the marinade. Cover, and marinate for at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat (I use a cast iron, but you can use any oven-safe pan). Add chicken thighs, skin side down, and cook for 5 minutes on each side, or until light golden brown.
  5. Remove chicken from the skillet and place on a separate plate. Scrape off any black burnt bits that stuck to the pan and discard.
  6. Add butter to the pan, and once it’s almost melted, add vermicelli noodles and sauté for 6-7 minutes, until they turn a deep golden brown - don’t be afraid, this is key to getting that delicious nutty flavor out of them.
  7. Add in onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until they’re translucent. Add in rice and stir so that all of the grains are coated in oil/butter and they start to turn translucent.
  8. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine, and bring up to a simmer. Place chicken on top, skin side up. Cover with a lid (or foil).
  9. Bake for 35 minutes, then remove lid and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until chicken skin looks crispy and pilaf has absorbed all of the liquid.
  10. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Remove chicken and use a fork to fluff the rice. Serve with salad or yogurt, and enjoy!

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1 Review

craig January 23, 2023
5 stars!
ghFantastic recipe!
I'm Armenian, and I cook and bake MANY traditional Armenian recipes, but never chicken! So when I came across this I just HAD to try it, because it looked so good.
I followed the recipe, and decided to leave the chicken marinating overnight.
It was DELICIOUS! My 3 guests loved it.

Thank you, Anais Babajanian, for posting this.
I'll be sharing it with family and friends.