Chicken With Rice Pilaf

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Chicken with rice pilaf. What do you get? You get delicious, homemade chicken with rice pilaf which is a good dish.  We made it work. We even added an egg to give the dish an extra boost. In this recipe, I cooked it in the crock pot so my hands would be free to do other things.

Related Post: Healthy Food Plan For Picky Eaters

Easy Chicken Rice Pilaf Recipe

ukrainian chicken rice or chicken plov in copper pan
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Sharing my mom’s easy and delicious chicken rice pilaf recipe, or ‘chicken plov’ as it’s called in Ukraine! This aromatic Ukrainian recipe is made with chicken, onion, carrots, and rice seasoned with just a touch of pepper and coriander. It’s an easy rice dish that you can have ready in no time! Try serving it with pickles and marinated tomatoes for a traditional meal. Traditional Uzbek plov is made with beef or lamb

How to Make Chicken Rice

You’ll love how easy this chicken recipe is to make! Start by choosing your chicken – both chicken breast and chicken thigh will work well for this recipe. Even bone-in a chicken thigh would work well. If using boneless chicken, cube it into small, bite-sized pieces.

  1. Brown the chicken all over, frying for about 6 to 8 minutes, just until browned all over. At this point the chicken doesn’t need to be cooked all the way; it will finish cooking with the rice. If using bone-in meat, cook it for a few minutes longer.
  2. After removing the chicken, add some butter to the pan. I LOVE using butter because it adds so much flavor! Sauté the onion and carrots until tender, then add the garlic, coriander, and cumin. I like to lightly toast the spices so they release more aroma.
  3. Return the chicken to the pan, add rice, season with salt and pepper, and add the chicken broth. Cover and cook the dish according to the rice package instructions.
  4. Garnish the rice with chopped parsley and enjoy with pickles, sour cream, and/or marinated tomatoes. For reheating, refry the rice pilaf in a hot pan with a drizzle of oil!
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Tips for Cooking Rice

This chicken rice pilaf can be made with a variety of rice types – I recommend using Basmati long-grain rice. It’s an aromatic, long-grain rice that cooks quickly and remains fluffy. You can also use brown rice or even buckwheat for this recipe. Whichever rice type you choose, follow the cooking instructions on the rice packaging. Some rice types require more or fewer liquids/broth and some may require longer or shorter cooking times.

One Pot Greek Chicken and Rice Pilaf

Light and delicious summer dinners are the best! And this one-pot Greek chicken and rice pilaf dish are exactly that! It’s easy enough to pull together on a weeknight and has the most delicious lemony fresh taste!

One Pot Greek Chicken and Rice Pilaf - a simple one pot dinner that's ready in 45 minutes and tastes lemon/herby fresh! #ricepilaf #onepotmeals #onepanmeals #skilletchicken #chickendinner | Littlespicejar.com
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In my world, the simplest dinner recipes are truly the best. 

And you can bet that this Greek Chicken and Rice dish truly is. Marinated chicken, perfectly cooked rice pilaf with a zing of lemon, and tons of fresh freshness from the herbs.

Oh and this is a one-pot dinner recipe aka easy clean-up recipe aka minimum prep time recipe.

Win. Win. And Win.

One Pot Greek Chicken and Rice Pilaf - a simple one pot dinner that's ready in 45 minutes and tastes lemon/herby fresh! #ricepilaf #onepotmeals #onepanmeals #skilletchicken #chickendinner | Littlespicejar.com
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And speaking of winning, Saturday night we were out with some friends for dinner (burgers guys, burgers!) when my phone started blowing up with a billion retweets and I was all like, huh? I mean, I’m all for social media but I’ve never really been big on Twitter you know?

So what’s the deal with all these tweets, you ask? LEANN RIMES made this recipe of mine. I guess she likes one pot (or pan) dinner recipes too! ? Holy cow! I think I read the tweet at least 8 times before I told my husband (more like screamed it at him, really) and I’m pretty sure even as I was telling him, my brain had not fully comprehended what had just happened.

Obvi, like a little giddy school girl I tweeted her to thank her and just kept hoping she liked it. My second shock of the evening came when she tweeted me back and said, and I quote here, ‘it was delicious!!’

**Simultaneously jumping up and down while pinching myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.** ????

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Moving along.

Honestly, I’m still on cloud 9 two days later. And by now I think I should just rename the blog “The One Pot Dinner Lady” because these one pot (or pan) dinners are my absolute favorite things to make. Not only is the clean-up a breeze, and the prep time is minimal but the final dish is delicious too. Got company coming over? Well what are you waiting for? Make this simple Greek chicken and herby rice pilaf. They won’t even know you made it all in one pan and that it took you under 45 minutes to get it on the table.

Bring on those picky eaters too we’re serving up a Greek Chicken and Rice recipe that is truly amazing and it comes with easy clean-up and happy bellies.

Double thumbs up.

One Pot Greek Chicken and Rice Pilaf - a simple one pot dinner that's ready in 45 minutes and tastes lemon/herby fresh! #ricepilaf #onepotmeals #onepanmeals #skilletchicken #chickendinner | Littlespicejar.com
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Up until now, I’ve done a ton of one-skillet chicken recipes and a few one-sheet pan dinners. This is taking it to a new level. I’m making a side and the main entree all in one pan. Talk about the perfect spring/summer comfort food. It’s been non-stop rain in Houston and all I’ve wanted is comfort food all up in my face while I’m trapped indoors and catching up (aka binge watch) old t.v. shows. And this hits the nail on the head for mealtime. I think exactly zero people have the willpower to say no to a bowl of warm and cozy lemon-scented rice.

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It all starts with a simple Greek marinade for the chicken. It’s basic pantry ingredients, I promise. We’re using a little olive oil, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice as the base. For the seasonings, it’s just minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano. I used fresh oregano from my garden, which has been thriving because of all the rains, but you could use dried oregano as well, just use 1/2 the quantity listed. Pantry staple dinners are perfect for when you don’t have time/won’t make time to get to the store.

I’m totally lazy when I make one-pot dinners and I’m telling you, I made the marinade in a zip-top bag and tossed in my chicken breasts, zipped it, and gave it a good shake. That’s it! Let it hang out for 15 minutes and if you’ve got time, let it sit for up to an hour for more flavor.

One Pot Greek Chicken and Rice Pilaf - a simple one pot dinner that's ready in 45 minutes and tastes lemon/herby fresh! #ricepilaf #onepotmeals #onepanmeals #skilletchicken #chickendinner | Littlespicejar.com
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And That lemon herby rice pilaf! Once you have the chicken breasts cooked and ready to go, just let them sit on a plate and keep them warm, We’re making the rice in the same skillet.

For the rice pilaf, I’m using a tablespoon of butter and we’re toasting the rice before boiling it. This adds such a nice little nutty note and I love the way it tastes. I’m boiling the rice in chicken broth and lemon juice to give it lots of flavors. You could use water if you’d like but the lemon juice combined with chicken broth gives everything a more amplified flavor.

Related Post: Healthy Dinner Recipes Indian

Keep in mind that I use parboiled rice for this recipe.

Parboiled rice is rice that’s been partially boiled before so it makes the cooking process a lot quicker! Make sure to give the rice a good rinse before cooking it to get rid of all that extra starch. This along with the toasting helps produce perfectly separated grains of rice. No mushy rice here thankyouverymuch.

My Greek chicken and rice pilaf are perfect for those nights when you want dinner to come out of one pot, be absolutely delicious, and fill! The prep work requires a quick 15 minutes. And the whole thing is on the table in under 1 hour!

Delicious dinners, happy bellies, and minimum cleaning.

One pot dinners make me weak at the knees. ?

chicken with rice pilaf
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YIELD: 4 SERVINGS

One Pot Greek Chicken and Rice Pilaf

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prep time 20 MINUTES

cook time 25 MINUTES

total time 45 MINUTES

Light and delicious summer dinners are the best! And this one-pot Greek chicken and rice pilaf dish are exactly that! It’s easy enough to pull together on a weeknight and has the most delicious lemony fresh taste!

One Pot Greek Chicken and Rice Pilaf

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Ingredients

Chicken Marinade:

  •  4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
  •  3 tablespoons EACH olive oil AND lemon juice
  •  2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  •  1 tablespoon minced garlic
  •  ½ teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  •  ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more!)
  •  4 teaspoons fresh oregano (or 2 tsp dried)

Rice Pilaf:

  •  1 tablespoon butter
  •  1 ¼ cup long grain [b]parboiled rice[/b]
  •  2 ½ cup chicken broth
  •  2-3 tablespoons lemon juice (see notes)
  •  zest of 1 lemon / sliced lemons (if desired)
  •  ¼ cup chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. CHICKEN: Combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and oregano in a zip-top bag. Add the chicken breasts, zip the bag and give it a good shake until the chicken breasts are evenly covered in the marinade. Allow the chicken to marinate for 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  2. In a large sauté pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade and discard the marinade. Cook the chicken breasts for 4-6 minutes per side or until the chicken is all the way cooked through and registers 165ºF on a thermometer. Remove the chicken to a plate. Cover loosely with a piece of foil and keep warm.
  3. RICE PILAF: Rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer under cold running water for 2 minutes, use your fingers to rub the rice, and set aside. Place the butter in the same sauté pan and allow it to melt over medium-high heat. Add the rinsed rice and allow to toast for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently so the rice doesn’t burn. Add the chicken broth and lemon juice to the pot and allow it to come to a boil. Stir just once to break up any lump. Cover, reduce heat to low, and let the rice cook for 8 minutes. At the 8-minute mark, remove the cover, the rice won’t be cooked through yet, add the lemon zest and lemon slices to the rice, and top with the cooked chicken breasts. Cover and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes or until the liquid dried up and the rice is cooked through. Allow standing for 5 minutes before topping with parsley and serving.

Notes

  • The lemon juice can be adjusted according to the preference for the rice. We wanted the rice pilaf with that lemony zing so we prefer it with 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. If you prefer a light lemon flavor, use 2 tablespoons.
  • I have only made this recipe with parboiled rice. For best results, I suggest following the recipe exactly as written.

Chicken Rice Pilaf


This Chicken Rice Pilaf is a very simple dish. It makes for a dinner that is quite comforting yet very versatile. It’s a staple in my house because it uses simple, everyday ingredients that we always have in our fridge or pantry.

chicken rice pilaf in a skillet with a spoon inside the skillet garnished with parsley
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Chicken And Rice Pilaf

Looking back, chicken rice pilaf is probably one of the first recipes I ever learned to make which is why I’m surprised I haven’t shared this recipe with you until now! It’s a dish I make all the time because not only is it so full of flavor, but it’s also chock full of ingredients that you can find in your fridge or pantry any night of the week. This pilaf is for you if you want a dish that is full of comfort but short on guilt.

What Is Pilaf?

Chicken rice pilaf is something my mom used to make often, if not on a weekly basis. Pilaf is just a rice dish usually cooked down with broth and some spices. I like to make mine nice and creamy, with sweet green peas and tender carrots to add some color and flavor. I also added some protein in the form of chicken to transform this dish into an entree.

chicken rice pilaf in a white plate with grated parmesan cheese on top with a fork
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Ingredients In Chicken Rice Pilaf

Detailed measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.

  • Butter – Unsalted as we want to control our sodium content.
  • Olive oil – We want something with a higher smoking point with great flavor to brown our protein.
  • Veggies – Onion, carrots, celery, and peas.
  • Chicken – We want a boneless, skinless chicken breast. If you’d like to use thigh feel free, just keep in mind you’ll need to cook it a bit longer.
  • Rice – Long grain white rice is perfect for this recipe, if you’d rather use other kinds of rice just bear in mind that it may affect the cooking time.
  • Broth – We want the chicken broth to carry through the flavors of the dish, with no sodium as well as to control our salt.
  • Bay leaves – These flavor bombs are key to cooking most rice dishes, just be sure to remove them before eating.
  • Cream – I used half and half to make this dish and ensure it was as creamy as possible.
  • Seasoning – Just a bit of salt and pepper to taste is all that’s needed.
  • Cheese – Parmesan cheese, and lots of it freshly grated.
chicken rice pilaf in a large skillet garnished with parsley
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How To Make Chicken Rice Pilaf

Detailed measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.

  • Prepare the base: Add the butter and olive oil to a large skillet or Dutch oven, and heat over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes until the onion softens and has become translucent. Add the carrots and celery, season with half the salt and pepper, stir then cook for 3 more minutes until the celery and carrots soften a bit.
  • Cook the chicken: Add the chopped chicken, season with remaining salt and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes until the chicken is no longer pink.
  • Prepare the pilaf: Add the rice, and chicken broth and stir. Add the bay leaves and a half and a half; stir. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat to a simmer and cover the skillet or pot. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the rice is cooked. Stir in the peas and cook for 2 additional minutes or until the peas are cooked.
  • Finish the dish: Garnish with parsley and more pepper. Serve warm sprinkled with Parmesan cheese if preferred.

Tips For Making The Best Chicken Rice Pilaf

  • I usually use chicken breast in my pilaf, but my mom has made this many times with chicken drumsticks or wings, she’s probably used every part of the chicken in this dish. And that’s what’s so great about a rice pilaf. It’s very versatile in the kind of meat or vegetables you use.
  • If you’d like to add some golden color and complex flavor to this dish, feel free to saute the rice in some oil before cooking.
  • Sub some water and a chicken bouillon cube for the chicken broth to give a flavor concentrate to the dish.
  • Once you’ve made this dish a few times you’ll never need to look at a recipe again, it’s just so easy to throw together.
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Related post: Quick Dinner Ideas Vegetarians

Storing Leftover Pilaf

Be sure to store this dish as soon as it’s cooled as rice is a breeding ground for bacteria. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3–4 days. If freezing store this dish in a freezer bag with the air pressed out. Thaw overnight in the fridge and fluff the rice before reheating. This dish will last up to 3 months in the freezer.

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