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This one pot chicken and rice is the perfect easy dinner that’s bursting with flavor! Tender chicken thighs and fluffy rice simmer in a cozy broth, with a burst of freshness from the zesty parsley and lemon gremolata topping.

Chicken and rice recipe

The word “one pot wonder” comes to mind with this recipe (though is that term is a bit retro?). Whatever the case, this glorious one pot chicken and rice meal really is the easy dinner you need in your life. It’s cozy and comforting, from the garlic and herb scented rice to the tender chicken thighs. The zingy parsley lemon gremolata makes the ideal fresh counterpoint to the cozy grains. We’ve made this one pot meal dozens of times for friends and family, and it’s a hit every time (even with unadventurous eaters).

What you need for this chicken and rice recipe

There’s something about a one pot meal that’s filling, cozy, and pleases everyone. This one is your best bet for chicken eaters, since it’s full of big flavors and minimal effort. The cook time is about 30 minutes, and you can likely do most of the prep in 15 minutes. This recipe features economical chicken thighs, which make it a cost-effective dinner as well. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Garlic powder, onion powder, and dried dill
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • White or yellow onion
  • White rice
  • Chicken broth
  • Parsley
  • Lemon zest
Chicken and Rice recipe in skillet with lemons

Chicken thighs are ultra flavorful

Many chefs and experts say that chicken thighs are the best cut of chicken, and we agree! A chicken breast can be delicious when butterflied and cooked properly (like in chicken piccata), but chicken thighs can be even more flavorful. They’re fattier than chicken breasts, which gives them a more intense, rich flavor than the white meat. There are two ways to buy chicken thighs: boneless and bone-in.

  • This recipe is for boneless, skinless chicken thighs. This type of thigh cooks quicker and is easier to eat. We like it for skillet dinners and pan frying because it makes for a fast dinner that’s easy for our entire family to eat (versus pulling meat off the bones, which can be tricky for the kids).
  • Bone-in, skin-on thighs are tasty, but we prefer using them in other recipes. Bone-in thighs flavors inside the bone spread out onto the meat, leaving you with a meatier, richer flavor. They will take longer too cook in this recipe and we have not tested the timing. We prefer using bone-in, skin-on thighs for our fan favorite Baked Chicken Thighs recipe, where they come out with deliciously crispy skin.
Gremolata dish next to garlic head

Why to add gremolata

This chicken and rice recipe is tasty as is, but it’s even better topped with the fresh garnish: gremolata! Gremolata is an Italian condiment that adds a burst of freshness and brightness to dishes. Traditionally, it’s a combination of finely chopped fresh parsley, grated lemon zest, and minced garlic, to create a flavor profile that is both herbaceous and citrusy.

Gremolata is typically served as a finishing touch, sprinkled over cooked fish, meat, vegetables, or even pasta for an instant flavor upgrade. Keep in mind that it’s dry in texture, not oil-based like a chimichurri or pistou.

Buy organic chicken if possible

When shopping for this chicken and rice recipe, keep in mind: the best chicken to buy is organic. This makes sure that it is the highest quality meat that was raised sustainably. It is also free of chemicals and additives so it’s the healthiest option for eating.

Per the USDA, organic chicken must be raised in living conditions that accommodate their natural behaviors (like grazing on pasture), fed 100% organic feed and forage, and not given antibiotics or hormones.

Chicken and Rice recipe

Simple ways to make chicken and rice a meal

This chicken and rice skillet is simple to whip up, and even better: you’ve got one side dish covered! Add a green veggie and it’s a meal. Here are a few ways we like to serve it that are easy to make on the side:

One pot chicken and rice skillet dinner

More chicken dinners

This chicken and rice recipe is the best easy dinner idea for chicken lovers! Our entire family gobbles it up, and we tested it on my in laws who are big fans. Even our unadventurous eaters loved the gremolata. Here are a few more top chicken dinners to try:

This chicken and rice recipe is…

Gluten-free and dairy-free.

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Chicken and rice recipe

Easy Chicken and Rice


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

This one-pot chicken and rice is the perfect easy dinner that’s bursting with flavor! Tender chicken thighs and fluffy rice simmer in a cozy broth, with a burst of freshness from the zesty parsley and lemon gremolata topping.


Ingredients

Scale

For the chicken

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the rice

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, minced
  • 1 ½ cups white rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill

For the gremolata

  • ⅓ cup finely chopped Italian parsley, (about 1/2 bunch)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (1 large lemon)
  • 1/2 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 grind black pepper

Instructions

  1. Dry the chicken thighs and season with the kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder and lots of fresh ground pepper. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, until golden brown. Remove the chicken to a plate, leaving the juices in the pan.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the garlic and onion. Cook for 5 minutes, until the onions are very tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the broth, rice, dill and kosher salt, scraping the bottom of the pan to pick up all of the seasoning from the chicken. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and top with the browned chicken thighs. Cover with a lid and cook at a low simmer for 15 to 18 minutes until rice is tender and all of the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl mix together the ingredients for the gremolata. 
  4. Remove the heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff the rice with a fork, then top with the gremolata and serve warm.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Chicken
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Chicken and rice recipe, chicken and rice

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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