Make this Herby Golden Baked Chicken and Rice – all prepped and cooked in one pot for easy clean up and a satisfying dinner! Juicy chicken thighs are coated in a simple spice blend of cumin, ginger and turmeric and then cooked over golden-seasoned bed of rice topped with loads of fresh herbs. | Gluten Free + Dairy Free
Baked Chicken and Rice Prep & Process
First things first:
Before we even get to the chicken or the rice, we need to first start out with our star, base ingredients: onion and garlic.
Instead of starting out by sautéing them on the stove top, we’re going to just throw them in a large casserole dish with some olive oil and set to bake for about 15ish minutes.
Baking the onion and garlic benefits us is a couple of ways here:
- Cooking the alliums first allows them caramelise slightly which adds a sweeter, more elegant overall flavour to finished dish.
- Using the hands-off method of cooking them in the oven gives us time to prep our remaining ingredients: spicing the chicken, chopping the herbs, etc.
Mixing it all together:
One the onion & garlic have goldened slightly in the oven and the chicken has been throughly rubbed in spices it’s time to bring it all together one step at a time.
Start by mixing the remaining turmeric, chili flakes, rice and chopped herbs in to the casserole dish until you have a fully combined yellow and green rice blend.
When you’re ready, add the chicken thighs to the rice and then pour the chicken stock over the top along with the lemon juice. Cover the dish with a fitted lid or piece of foil and then place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the lid/foil and let the dish cook uncovered for another 20 minutes until all the chicken stock has been absorbed in the rice. I also recommend spraying or brushing a little olive oil over the chicken before you place it back in the oven. This will help prevent the chicken exposed to the oven from going too dry as it cooks.
When it’s all finished, let the chicken and rice sit for at least 5 minutes before fluffing up the rice. Serve this with additional herbs sprinkled over the top and a few lemon slices to squeeze over your plate for an extra pop of zest.
Substitutions & Alterations
Can I make this with skin on thighs?
- I don’t recommend using skin-on chicken thighs for this particular recipe. All the extra fat from the skin makes for greasy rice that doesn’t cook as evenly.
How to make this with drumsticks?
- You can use skin-on OR skin-off drumsticks in place of chicken thighs. Drumsticks don’t have as much fat as thighs which make them a good option for baking with the rice.
- That being said – I still recommend using skinless drumsticks here because the skin won’t get crispy from baking alone. Also, the flavours of the rice permeate the meat much better without the skin.
How to make this with chicken breast?
- For boneless/skinless chicken: wait to add the chicken breast until you’re in the final 20 or so minutes of cooking after the rice has already cooked, covered for about 30 minutes.
Can I use brown rice?
- Yes! Increase the first bake time from 30 minutes to 45 minutes and then uncover and cook for 15-20 minutes until the liquid is gone and the rice is tender.
And that’s it! A little over one hour (most of that time is hands off), one pan, minimal clean up and tons of a flavour!
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- 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped (brown, white or yellow)
- 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 6 chicken thigh fillets, boneless + skinless (see note 1)
- 1 tsp ground turmeric, divided
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked long grain rice (see note 2)
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped + more for topping at the end
- 1/4 cup fresh mint and/or cilantro, chopped + more for topping at the end (see note 3)
- 3 cups | 720 ml chicken stock
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Lightly grease a large casseroles dish (10-inch x 15-inch /25cm x 35cm) with oil.
- Add the onions and garlic to the dish. Stir to coat well in oil. Sprinkle over a pinch of salt and bake for 15 minutes.
- While the onion and garlic are baking, mix together 1/2 tsp turmeric, cumin, ginger, salt and black pepper until combined. Sprinkle the spice blend and rub all over the chicken thighs. Set aside.
- Add the rice, remaining 1/2 tsp turmeric, chili flakes and chopped herbs to the casserole dish and stir in with the onion and garlic.
- Place the seasoned chicken thighs over the rice. Pour the chicken stock and lemon juice over the top.
- Cover the dish with a fitted lid or tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid/foil. Brush a small amount of olive oil over the chicken to keep it from drying out and bake uncovered for another 18-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through (should reach an internal temp of 165°F/75°C) and the liquid has absorbed into the rice.
- Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes. Serve topped with additional fresh herbs and lemon juice if desired and enjoy.
- Note 1: Skin on chicken thighs will make for greasy rice that doesn't cook as evenly.
- You can use skin on or off drumsticks instead of thighs - drumsticks have less fat than thighs so you don't need to worry about greasy rice. I still recommend using skinless drumsticks though because the skin won't go crispy.
- You can use boneless/skinless chicken breast: wait to add the chicken breast until the final 20 minutes of cooking when you finish off cooking the rice uncovered.
- Note 2: Basmati and jasmin rice can be used in place of the long grain white rice. Short, medium, paella and risotto rice will not work
Note 3: You can use all mint, all cilantro or a combination of the two.
Serving Size:1 thigh with rice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 365Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 170mgSodium: 699mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 24g
What to Serve this with this Baked Chicken & Rice?
- Chopped Farm Salad with Quinoa & Garden Greens
- Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Apples & Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
- Roasted Broccoli Salad with Feta & Pine Nuts
- Simple green salad with a Caesar Salad Dressing