This one-pot chicken and saffron rice recipe is a weeknight wonder meal. This one-pot recipe is so easy to make and easy to modify.
There’s nothing more satisfying than a dinner recipe that doesn’t require more than one pot. It makes cleanup a breeze which is one of the big reasons to love one-pot recipes.
This chicken and saffron rice recipe is just so good. It’s really a weeknight wonder, and it’s so versatile.
My secret ingredient? Fig jam! I use a gorgeous Fig & Honey Conserve that you can grab from my shop. You can use your favorite fig jam or try it with chopped dry figs instead! The figs add a nice subtle sweetness to the rice, making it so satisfying.
No saffron? No worries! Despite the name, the great thing about this one-pot chicken and saffron rice recipe is that you can actually omit the saffron. It’s great if you have it, but it’s definitely a splurge spice! The dish is a great blank canvas, so you can infuse any flavor you like. Try adding garam masala, turmeric, ras el hanout, or baharat to the butter before adding the rice. You could also do more savory flavors like sage or thyme. A sprinkle of poultry season instead of saffron would be good too! The fig adds a nice subtle sweetness that pairs with just about anything.
The other best part of this dish is the garnishes! I recommend finishing the dish with crushed nuts, like pistachios. Slivered almonds would be tasty too! Fresh herbs, like mint or minced parsley, will add nice, herby brightness at the end. And a spritz of lemon juice lends just the right amount of zing to round out the flavor. Pomegranate arils would also look beautiful scattered across the chicken.
Looking for more chicken recipes? Check my archives!
One-Pot Chicken and Saffron Rice
- Large pot
- Pinch of saffron
- 3 tablespoons warm water
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil divided
- 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon fig jam or use 1 tablespoon chopped dry figs
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or use crushed red pepper and smoked paprika to taste
- 2 cups water or vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Crushed pistachios
- Torn mint leaves
- Minced parsley
Prepare the saffron and rice:
- Crush the saffron between your hands or lightly mash it with the back of a spoon in a small bowl. Pour 3 tablespoons of warm water on top. Set aside.
- Rinse the basmati rice thoroughly and set aside.
Fry the chicken:
- Pat the chicken dry and season it all over with salt and pepper.
- Heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook without moving for 5–6 minutes until the skin turns golden brown and becomes very crispy. Flip and cook for 5 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.
Prepare the rice:
- Turn the heat on the pot to medium. Melt the butter into the rendered chicken fat. Add the onion and cook for 6–7 minutes until it softens. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add the fig jam and the silk chili flakes. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add the rinsed rice to the pot and toss to coat. Cook for 1–2 minutes until it begins to toast. Season well with salt and pepper.
Cook the chicken and rice:
- Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Stir the rice and reduce the heat to low. Pour the saffron water into the pot and nestle the chicken on top. Cover and simmer for 25–30 minutes or until the rice is tender and the chicken reaches 165ºF on an instant-read thermometer. Turn off the heat and let stand for 5–10 minutes.
Broil the chicken, optional:
- Remove the cover from the pot and turn on the broiler. Drizzle the chicken with the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil. Place under the broiler and broil the chicken for 2–3 minutes to crisp up the skin. Remove from the broiler.
- Scatter crushed pistachios, torn mint leaves, and minced parsley on top. Squeeze a wedge or two of lemon on top.
- Divide the rice and a chicken thigh between plates. Enjoy!
This was so good! I followed the recipe exactly, using vegetable stock, 2 dried golden figs chopped finely, cayenne and smoked paprika for the aleppo, and added about half a teaspoon of ras el hanout since I did happen to have that spice. The four toppings (mint, parsley, pistachio, lemon) really completed the dish and everyone loved it! It was awesome.
I’m so happy to hear that!! Thank you for the comment!