This One Pot Spanish Chicken and Rice recipe is a simple, comforting meal bursting with flavor. An easy 15 minutes to prep and then pop in the oven to bake, this has become one of my favorite go to recipes that even children love.
I know what you are thinking, “Come on Heather, chicken and rice? Everybody makes chicken and rice!” And I know…I know…One Pot Spanish Chicken and Rice is not a brand new dish by any stretch of the imagination. I also know that this is not authentic to Spanish tradition. What it is though is undeniably delicious. How do I know? Because not only did I completely enjoy it but our resident little munchkin was completely loving the smell of it cooking and then gobbled it down. When I don’t have to say “EAT YOUR FOOD” 500 times to a fussy, picky 4 year old and the plate is gone is about 5 minutes, it is a glorious day. I mean the sun is shining, birds are chirping, I just won the lottery kind of day. Ever since then this has come back into my rotation of go to meals that i know everyone will eat. What I love about this dish is not only does it taste great, but it has a very easy preparation and while it is baking I can help with homework, clean or just do other chores.
Why Sear Chicken for this One Pot Spanish Chicken and Rice:
Many people will probably ask themselves whether searing the chicken is a necessary step for this dish and I understand where they are coming from. Why spend the extra time and effort doing something that really isn’t necessary? Here is the deal though, if you like flavor, searing the meat is a necessary step. By doing so it creates an awesome depth of flavor in the meat and also imparts that wonderful flavor into the onions and then the rice.
Tips about One Pot Spanish Chicken and Rice:
- I highly suggest to always rinse your rice using a small mesh colander. This step, although an extra step, removes any yucky debris, and trust me, it can be yucky. (affiliate)
- Basmati rice will create fluffier cooked rice. Jasmine rice will create cooked rice that is stickier. (affiliate)
- When cooking with any form of brown rice you will need to add approximately an additional 1 1/4 cups broth and the cooking time may take up to a half hour longer. Make sure to check at the hour marker to see how much additional time may need to be added based on the amount of liquid that remains.
- So let’s be honest. Le Creuset Dutch Oven is absolutely gorgeous cookware but if these pans are a bit out of your budget this Lodge Dutch Oven is just as fabulous. (affiliate)
- This is my favorite cooking/baking, all purpose oil. (affiliate)
- When searing, the chicken pieces can splatter, popping hot oil up and sometimes hitting the chef. Please be very cautious when doing this step. A Splatter Screen and long handled tongs can be incredibly helpful to prevent this. (affiliate)
- Using Fire Roasted Tomatoes adds another layer of wonderful flavor. (affiliate)
- Cooked black beans can also be added to this One Pot Spanish Chicken and Rice recipe at the same time as the tomatoes and olives. Approximately 1 cup cooked or 1 can drained would be the perfect amount.
- My guilty pleasure is taking the leftover rice and heating it up with some organic grass-fed cheese on top. That oeey gooey cheese on top of the flavorful rice is just so delicious and of of course there is no guilt because of the organic grass-fed part. 😜
- 2½ lbs chicken legs & thighs
- salt & pepper
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 lg brown onion *diced, about 1-1½ cups
- 1½ tsp cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp coriander
- ⅛ tsp chipotle powder *optional
- 5 lg garlic cloves *approximately 2 tbsp minced or crushed
- 1½ cups Jasmine or Basmati rice
- Juice of 2 limes
- 14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes with juice
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 can lg black olives
- fresh chopped cilantro for garnish *optional
- Preheat oven to 350℉.
- Add oil to dutch oven and heat over med/high heat for 3-4 mins. Salt & pepper both sides of chicken legs & thighs. Add chicken to pan and sear 4-5 mins per side or until chicken reaches a light golden brown, making sure to carefully turn chicken pieces and use a splatter screen if needed. Remove chicken from pan.
- With the heat still on add onions and sauté until sweated, about 2-3 mins. Add spices, stir and continue sautéing for another 1-2 mins. Turn off heat and add garlic, rice, lime juice, tomatoes (with juice), broth and olives. Stir well. Evenly place seared chicken pieces into rice mixture. Cover with lid and bake at 350℉ for approximately 55 -60 mins. (see notes above under tips section if using brown rice)
- Garnish with chopped cilantro.
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