One Pot Chicken and Lemon Rice isn’t just about the tender fall off the bone chicken or the fluffy rice with a delicious lemon kick, it’s also about the EXTRA ADDED FLAVOURS that take this dish from being great to SENSATIONAL. And it all happens in just under 1 hour!!
As a food blogger, l depend on the honest opinions of friends and family for feedback about my recipes. Luckily, l have an endless supply of willing participants who are happy to taste test any of my dishes.
This One Pot Chicken and Lemon Rice was road tested by my neighbour’s two 6 foot 3 inch strapping teenage sons, who have voracious appetites (and finicky tastes). The verdict was a comprehensive thumbs up with the added comment of, “Wow, that’s got so much flavour”. That’s happiness to me!
Here’s how l add all that extra flavour.
Butter: just about everything tastes much fuller and more flavoursome when sauteed in butter. Just ask the French! Butter enhances the flavour of ingredients in a way that’s hard to surpass.
Cumin: rubbed into the chicken thighs, or sauteed in butter with chopped onion, gives this dish a double hit of an earthy, spicy flavour. If you don’t especially like cumin, you could leave it out; there’ll still be plenty of flavour!
Lemon: and cumin combined is just magical. Lemon juice and lemon zest is rubbed into the flesh of the chicken thighs and is also added to the cooking liquid. Another double hit of flavour.
Chicken Stock: can be replaced with water, by why miss out on extra added flavour. Just be mindful of the salt content your stock. You will need to taste before you add any extra salt to this dish.
There are plenty of really good photos of similar dishes on the net, but l bet none will taste as good as mine!
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Chicken and Marinade
- 1 kg / 2 lbs chicken thighs, skin on, bone in (note 1)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp garlic, grated
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 25 g / 0.9 oz butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tsp cumin
- 250 g / 9 oz long grain rice (note 2 for other rice types)
- 350 ml / 12 fl oz warm chicken stock
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F.
- Trim off any excess fat from the underside of the thighs (note 3).
- Combine thighs and marinade ingredients (except olive oil) in a bowl or zip lock bag. Massage the marinade into the chicken, especially the underside where there are little crevices. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Heat oil in a heavy based skillet / pan over moderate-high heat (note 4).
- Place the chicken in the pan skin side down and cook until golden in colour (roughly 4 minutes). Turn and cook the other side for a further minute. Remove and set aside.
- Pour off fat in pan and wipe off any residual fat with kitchen paper (the pan needs to be dry).
- Gently melt butter in the same pan. Turn up heat to moderate – high and add chopped onion and cumin. Saute until the onion is soft and golden.
- Add the rice and stir until well coated. Turn stove off but leave pan on the element. Add the warm chicken stock and lemon juice. Have a taste of the liquid. Add salt and pepper (l usually add 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp white pepper) (note 5).
- Place the thighs on top of the rice; push them down a little. Tip any juices released by the chicken while resting, into the pan. Cover pan with a lid (note 6).
- Place pan on middle rack of oven and bake for 35 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven. Carefully lift lid. Fluff up the rice and place the lid back on pan. Allow to stand for about 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with lemon zest and parsley if desired (note 7).
- You need 1 kg / 2 lbs of similar sized chicken thighs, so that they cook evenly. Depending on the weight of each thigh, you may end up with either 4 or 5 pieces.
- I have also made this dish using medium grain rice and it turned out beautifully. Once cooked, medium grain rice is a little creamier (some say stickier), but l don’t find that a problem. Basmati rice works well too.
- You don’t have to do this, but it helps to reduce the amount of fat / oil released by the chicken.
- My skillet measures 28 cm / 11 ” across the top and is 6 cm / 2.5 ” deep. I would love a skillet that isn’t quite as deep, but l have been banned from buying any more pots, pans or baking trays.
- The amount of seasoning you add will depend on how salty your stock is. Please TASTE first.
- A transparent lid is helpful but any lid will do. My pan didn’t come with a lid, so l improvised and used the lid of another pan.
- Allowing the pan to stand with the lid on, gives the rice time to absorb any remaining liquid.