This chicken and rice is a thick, comforting stewy chicken dinner you’ll love on a chilly evening.
My comfort food is almost always centered around homemade chicken broth. There’s something so warming, delicious, and rich about a golden, savory chicken broth.
This chicken and rice is more like a stew than a soup. However, you could add additional water if you want it a little soupier. I like it thick and stewy because it really sticks to your ribs. And that is exactly what you need on a cold night, right?
How to make this chicken and rice:
I love this recipe because you only need a few ingredients. Many of these ingredients can be swapped for something else in your pantry. It’s easy to add different flavors to this chicken and rice too, which makes it a perfect versatile recipe.
What you need
- Chicken: I use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. You can make this with a cut-up chicken or with leg quarters. If you want to use chicken breasts, I would use half bone-in, skin-on breasts, and half thighs. I find breasts don’t make as rich of a broth as thighs and legs do.
- Broth aromatics: You’ll need bay leaves, garlic, and onion. Of course, if you have stock scraps frozen, throw them in. I’ve used the root end of celery, old carrots, and old parsley. I’ve also used the tops of leeks in my broth. Get creative with the flavor profile here!
- Chicken and rice: You’ll need carrots, onions, thyme, paprika, scallion whites, and short-grain rice. of course, you’ll use the resulting broth and shredded chicken from your homemade broth. I finish the recipe with lemon juice and scallion greens. In place of scallions, you could use minced parsley or dill.
How to make it
- Step 1: Start with the broth. I usually just throw the chicken right in the water and bring it to a boil. This time, I browned the thighs first. Candidly, I could go either way. I think you get a little more of a robust chicken flavor, but if you’re tight on time, then I don’t think it’s worth the additional effort. If you don’t want to fuss with frying, just throw everything together in the pot with water. It’ll be fine. Once the chicken is browned, add the garlic, onion, and bay leaves, and top it off with enough water to immerse the chicken.
- Step 2: Simmer the broth for about 45 minutes. While the broth simmers, prepare all the ingredients you need for the chicken and rice.
- Step 3: Transfer the chicken and garlic to separate bowls. From there, strain the broth and wipe out the pot. Shred the chicken and add it to the broth, and then mash the garlic cloves. Wipe out the pot and add it to the stove.
- Step 4: Now it’s time to bring it all together! Fry up the carrots and onions. Add the garlic paste, thyme, and paprika. Throw in the rice and scallion whites. Pour in the reserved broth with the chicken and bring to a boil. From there, simply simmer until the broth is thick and the rice is tender. If you like it soupier, add more water at this point.
- Step 5: Finish it up! Stir in scallion greens and lemon juice, and serve it up!
If you make this recipe, please let me know what you think of it in the comments!
Chicken and Rice
- Large pot
- Fine mesh sieve
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 head of garlic, top cut off, and cloves left in paper
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups water, more if needed
Chicken and rice:
Start the broth:
- Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken thighs, skin-side down, and cook for 5 minutes without moving until browned and crisp. Flip and cook for 5 minutes more.
- Add the onion, garlic, and bay leaves to the pot. Pour the water on top, adding more if needed to immerse the chicken. Season with a big pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.
Finish the broth:
- Scoop the chicken out of the broth and transfer it to a large bowl. Transfer the head of garlic to a small bowl.
- Pour the broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl and discard the solids. Wipe out the pot and return it to the stove.
- Remove the skin from the chicken and pick the meat from the bones. Shred the chicken and add it to the bowl of broth. Note: You can fry the chicken skin and crumble it over the soup for a crispy garnish if you like.
Prepare the garlic:
- Pop the garlic cloves from the paper and mash them into a paste with a fork. Set aside.
Make the chicken and rice:
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the pot over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 6–8 minutes until softened.
- Add the garlic paste, thyme, and paprika and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the white parts of the scallions and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Add the rice and toss to coat. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add another pinch of salt.
- Pour in the broth and chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20–25 minutes or until the rice is tender and the broth is thick. If you like it soupier, add another cup of water and another pinch of salt.
Finish the chicken and rice:
- Taste the chicken and rice and add more salt and pepper if needed. Stir in the lemon juice and half the scallion greens. Simmer for 3–5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Spoon the chicken and rice into shallow bowls and garnish with lemon wedges and the remaining scallion greens. Enjoy!