Easy Chicken and Rice Recipe

This Easy Chicken and Rice recipe is the perfect Sunday Night Dinner that will bring everyone to the table. It’s packed with veggies and rice, and because it braises in the oven for over an hour the chicken is moist and tender and fall-off-the-bone delicious! The ultimate comfort food dinner!

This is a fantastic Chicken Recipe for kids because the veggies are diced and mixed in with the rice (sneaky!) and the flavors are so hearty and comforting. Using wild rice, I find makes a simple chicken and rice dish less boring, along with the shiitake mushrooms, for a hearty, earthy flavor.

For another One-Pot dinner idea, try my Chicken Florentine Recipe or my 15-Minute Chicken Dijon recipe. Or for a full meal on a sheet pan, try my Lemon Thyme Spatchcock Chicken and Potatoes

Large pot filled with finished chicken and rice dish garnished with parsley

Ingredients:

  • Chicken Legs I like to use a dark cut of chicken for this recipe because the chicken braises in the broth for over an hour, allowing the rice to cook underneath. Keeping the skin on allows the fat from the skin to render down into the meat, helping to keep the meat tender and juicy. Often times this cut is labeled “Chicken Quarters” which refers to the fact that it is a quarter of the chicken which includes the leg and the thigh.  If you can’t find them, you could also just use the thighs.
  • I like to use legs because you get both the chicken thigh and the drumstick in one cut, making it a more filling dinner.  It’s also a really cost-effective cut of meat and versatile! For more recipes using thighs and legs try my Sheet Pan Chicken with Potatoes and Veggies, or my Sheet Pan Chicken with Curried Veggies and Couscous
  • I wouldn’t recommend chicken breasts for this recipe since the white meat would dry out too much as it waits for the rice to be done.  
  • Fresh Thyme and Kosher Salt The thyme and salt combine to create an easy rub you’ll use to flavor the chicken legs before giving them a quick sear.
  • Olive Oil You’ll sear the chicken legs in the oil first to lock in their flavor and create a nice golden color on them. 
  • Brown Rice I like to use brown rice for its higher nutritional value, but you could also use white rice if you prefer. Keep in mind if you use wild rice, the cooking time would increase by about 15 minutes since wild rice takes longer to cook. I just wouldn’t use minute rice or any quick-cooking rice since it turns mushy very quickly. 
  • Diced Carrots and Onions Adds some nice veggies into the mix, making it a complete dinner in one pot!
  • Chicken Broth The rice cooks in the chicken broth, flavoring the rice as it simmers in the broth. 
  • Worcestershire Sauce The Worcestershire sauce adds a delicious earthy flavor to the rice and compliments the chicken and the mushrooms. 
  • Garlic I throw in a clove of minced garlic into the chicken broth before placing my pot in the oven. It flavors the broth as it simmers carrying over that flavor to the rice. 
  • Shiitake Mushrooms If you really don’t care for mushrooms you can leave them out, but I love to cook with them this time of year since they add such a wonderful fall flavor. I like the shiitake mushrooms because they cook down to a soft velvety texture once simmered in the broth, but you could replace them with white button mushrooms too. 
  • Butter The butter adds additional flavor to the rice and gives it a nice creamy finish.
  • Thyme Sprigs I place 3-5 whole thyme sprigs in the broth which imparts even more flavor as they “steep” in the simmering broth flavoring the rice
  • Parsley For a finishing touch add some chopped parsley over the entire dish once it’s done. It will provide a fresh finish to all the earthy flavors below. 

Ingredients spread out on a board 

Why You’ll Love This Recipe:

  • Chicken and rice is a one-pot meal that covers all the bases; protein, veggies and rice.
  • Once the chicken and veggies are seared, you add the broth and rice and pop in the oven for 45-50 minutes and it’s hands-free cooking!
  • Using the chicken legs, is more affordable than chicken breasts, and when braised with the broth and rice it creates a moist and tender chicken dinner. 

Step #1: Season the Chicken

  • You’ll combine the salt and the chopped thyme to create a rub, then rub it all over the chicken front and back, and under the skin to flavor the meat.
  • Salting the chicken is the secret to flavorful chicken that is also tender and juicy! I cannot stress this enough. If you continually have bland chicken dinners, chances are you aren’t pre-salting it enough ahead of time. Even 20 minutes ahead of cooking, will make a big difference. Or better yet, do it the day before, it will be even better!
  • You can leave the seasoned chicken at room temperature while you prep the vegetables.

Raw chicken legs seasoned with Thyme and Salt on a plate

Step#2: Sear the Chicken For Flavor and Color

  • This recipe calls for 6 chicken legs. It’s best to sear the chicken in olive oil, in batches of three.
  • At this stage it’s not necessary to cook the chicken all the way through, it will continue cooking in the oven with the rice.
  • This stage is primarily for locking in the flavor and creating a beautiful golden brown color on the skin. 

Cooking Raw Chicken and Rice at the Same Time

  • The most important part of cooking raw chicken and rice at the same time, is to make sure the dish cooks long enough to fully cook the raw chicken and more importantly cook off the bacteria.
  • I also sear the chicken first to give it a head start with the cooking. This lessens the time it will need to cook with the rice to be fully done.
  • Rice, especially wild rice, takes a good amount of time too cook. This assures that when the rice is done, the chicken will be fully cooked and the bacteria cooked off.
  • I also place my casserole in the oven to assure constant, even cooking (as opposed to just the cooktop) this also assures the chicken will be cooked through. 
  • The great thing about cooking the chicken and rice together is that the way the chicken flavors the rice as it cooks and releases its juices.

Chicken legs seared in a pan with olive oil in the background

Step#4: Add the Veggies and The Broth

  • Saute the carrots and onions in the chicken fat and drippings until tender.
  • This will add additional flavor to the vegetables.
  • If your pan is dry you can add a bit more olive oil. 
  • Then you’ll deglaze the pan with the broth, scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Then you’ll add in the mushrooms.
  • Cooking the rice in chicken broth (as opposed to water) will make the rice less bland and taste so much better! The vegetables also help to add more flavor to the rice too as they cook down and release their flavors. 

Carrots and onions deglazed in a pan with wooden spoon

Step#5: Add the Rice and Seasonings

  • At this stage, you’ll add the rice, Worcestershire sauce, butter, garlic, and thyme sprigs. Stir the mixture and then add the chicken on top.
  • Arrange the chicken in a way that each leg is laying in the pot in a single layer not overlapping too much.
  • This will allow the skin to crisp back up once the cover is removed in the final stage of cooking. 

Step#5: Bake Cover + Uncovered

  • Covered Cooking: Place the cover on your pot and bake for 45-50 minutes just until most of the broth has evaporated and the rice becomes soft and tender.
  • Uncovered Cooking: Remove the cover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until rice is done and the chicken skin has crisped back up. 

Hands-Free Cooking

  • What’s nice about the recipe is that as it cooks in the oven it frees you up to tidy up the kitchen, set the table, help with homework if needed.
  • And once it’s done you can bring the pot oven-to-table (no need to transfer it to platters or bowls!) and be rest assured there’s only one pot to clean!

Troubleshooting Tips:

  • Depending upon the type of rice you choose it may take more or less time for the rice to cook in the covered stage. You’ll know when it’s OK to remove the cover once the rice is tender. 
  • If the broth has evaporated before the rice is done, it’s OK to add more broth in 1-cup increments until the rice is tender. Then you can proceed to the uncovered stage. 

Vertical image of chicken and rice on a white plate served with the pot and wine glass in the background

Storing and Reheating Tips

  • This recipe reheats well the next day! Keep the meal in the pot, cover, and refrigerate.
  • To reheat add 1/2 cup-3/4 cup of chicken broth to moisten the rice. Cover and reheat at 350F for 20-25 minutes until the chicken and rice are warmed through. 

More Delicious Chicken Recipes!

One Pot Chicken and Rice on a counter with silver serving pieces

Easy Chicken and Rice Recipe

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

This Easy Chicken and Rice recipe is the perfect Sunday Night Dinner that will bring everyone to the table. It's packed with veggies and rice, and because it braises in the oven for over an hour the chicken is moist and tender and fall-off-the-bone chicken delicious! 

Ingredients

  • 6 Chicken Legs (Bone-in, Skin-On)
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7.5ml) Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) Fresh Thyme, Chopped
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) Olive Oil
  • 1 cup onion (150g), diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots (75g), diced
  • 2 cups (380g) Brown Rice, uncooked
  • 4 cups (950ml) Chicken Broth
  • 5 oz (141g) Shiitake Mushroom
  • 1 tsp (5ml) Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) Butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-5 sprigs of Thyme
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) Fresh Parsley, Chopped

Instructions

  1. Mix together the salt and the chopped thyme. Rub the mixture over the chicken legs, front and back, and under the skin and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, dice the carrots and onion and measure out the mushrooms, rice, and broth, and set aside.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a heavy bottom braiser or Dutch Oven. Once hot place 3 chicken legs in the pot, skin side down and sear until golden brown. Then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes on the other side. At this stage it's not necessary to cook the chicken all the way through, it will cook through in the oven. Once all the chicken is seared transfer to a clean plate and set aside.
  4. Do not clean out the pot, add the carrots and onions to the pot and cook in the chicken fat. If your pot is a bit dry add 1 Tbsp more olive oil. Cook vegetables until fragrant and slightly tender.
  5. Then deglaze the pan by slowly adding the Chicken broth, scraping up the drippings and brown bits with a wooden spoon into the broth.
  6. Then add the mushrooms, brown rice, Worcestershire sauce, butter, salt and pepper to taste, garlic and thyme sprigs.
  7. Add the chicken on top of the rice and broth mixture.
  8. Cover and bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes until broth is almost totally evaporated and rice is tender.
  9. Bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes more until chicken skin is crispy and the broth is evaporated.
  10. Serve oven-to-table!

Notes

Chicken Legs:

Often times this cut is labeled "Chicken Quarters" which refers to the fact that it is a quarter of the chicken which includes the leg and the thigh.  If you can't find them, you could also just use the thighs.

Troubleshooting Tips:

  • Depending upon the type of rice you choose it may take longer or less time for the rice to cook in the covered stage. You'll know when it's OK to remove the cover once the rice is tender. 
  • If the broth has evaporated before the rice is done, it's OK to add more broth in 1-cup increments until the rice is tender. Then you can proceed to the uncovered stage. 

Storing and Reheating Tips

  • This recipe reheats well the next day! Keep the meal in the pot, cover, and refrigerate.
  • To reheat add 1/2 cup-3/4 cup of chicken broth to moisten the rice. Cover and reheat at 350F for 20-25 minutes until the chicken and rice or warmed through. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 679Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 333mgSodium: 782mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 69g
 Recipe

Brownie cake scooped into a mug with ice cream

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15 Comments

  1. Great recipe! I made this tonight and on this cold winter’s day it’s truly a warm and comforting meal. Yet elegant enough to make for guests. I used button mushrooms as that’s what I had and I browned them before the veggies and it was really good. Thanks Beth.

  2. Hi Beth – I found this recipe and it is my new go-to because it has a lot of leftovers for the next day. I use 9 chicken thighs instead of the whole legs. This is the easiest chicken & rice dinner to make I have the recipe memorized! Thanks for sharing your recipes. My husband and I love this dish!

  3. Whole Cow! This was freakin good! I followed directions pretty much exact, just subbed zucchini for the mushrooms because that’s what I had. This will absolutely be a repeat for me especially during winter and a recipe I’ll happily share with family and friends. Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Beth – I absolutely love this recipe!! I’ve made it several times and it’s been a hit every time. I used tarragon instead of thyme because that’s what I had. Delicious! Also, it’s much easier to serve when using separate thighs and legs. Love, love, love this dish!

  5. Five Stars!
    I made this recipe last night and it was delicious; so easy to prepare. It was minimal prep before going in the oven. The flavors were perfect, comforting, and a plate full of love. It’s one for my favorites recipes book. Next time I might try just chicken thighs just because they are easier to find at the grocery store. If you haven’t tried this one, you must! Thanks, Beth for a lovely dinner.

  6. I thought I would add that since many are ordering groceries online that the term “chicken leg quarters” refers to the attached leg and thigh. That’s what they are labeled at all of local markets.

  7. Beth,
    It was interesting to me that my very modern well stocked market didn’t carry legs and thighs.
    Did you purchase yours at a butcher? They seemed to say it was a gone by item. I’m using extra legs.
    Wondering if anyone else has run into this.
    Beth, could you direct me to your most loved fall recipes?
    I saw it once but can’t find it again.
    Thank you, your recipes are so adaptable.
    I do need a sous to take the thyme leaves from their stems!!!!!

    1. This is so interesting, I know what you mean! I live in California and only Gelson’s and Whole Foods carry the full legs so I usually go there. Alternatively, I also use separate thighs and legs if needed. As far as my favorite fall recipes, this YouTube Playlist is a good place to start, most of them are also on the blog for printing too!

    1. Yes exactly! Great question! The thigh is the upper part and the drumstick is the lower. Funny enough these parts are usually sold separately but I just rather buy the whole leg. I think the presentation is prettier and that way each person gets both cuts and makes it more filling too! Let me know how it goes, I hope you enjoy it!