One-Pot Chicken and Rice

This one-pot chicken and rice meal is pretty interesting. The cooking process is somewhat similar to making a paella, but the outcomes are totally different. In both, you simmer vegetables, protein, rice, and stock together until everything is cooked. But this chicken meal is distinctly less Spanish and full of more cold-weather comfort. It’s also filled with vitamin-rich vegetables to make you feel really good and healthy.

Start off by browning one chicken hindquarter (thigh and leg) per person in a large, heavy pot with olive oil. Make sure to salt and pepper both sides of the chicken first. Heat the oil over medium heat so that the chicken sizzles. Cook the chicken skin-side down for 10 minutes. Then, turn it over and cook it for another 10 minutes so that both sides are brown. Remove the chicken to a side plate.  If you want a faster way to make this meal, just dice up some chicken breasts, brown them in the pot, and them set them aside.

While the chicken is cooking, steam some squash. This is a delicata squash that I got in my vegetable delivery. The website said it was “delicata (sweet potato) squash.” I never heard sweet potatoes referred to as a squash before, but I got them anyway. It turns out, they are not sweet potatoes at all. The squash is just shaped like them.

It also tastes like a cross between sweet potatoes and chestnuts. It’s really delicious. I think it might be my new favorite kind of squash!

Also while the chicken is cooking, chop up 3 cloves of garlic, 1 medium onion, 2 medium carrots, and the stalks from a bunch of swiss chard.

Swiss chard is a dark, leafy green. I got rainbow swiss chard, so each stalk was a different color. It was really beautiful. Rip the leafy parts into pieces and set them aside.

When the chicken comes out of the pot, add in the chopped vegetables. Cook them for about 5 minutes or until the swiss chard stems start to turn translucent. When that’s cooked, add in the swiss chard leaves, the zest from 1 lemon or lime, the steamed squash (minus the skin), and 1.5 cups of basmati rice. Stir everything together and let it cook for 1 minute.

Then, add 2.5 cups of chicken broth to the pot, and bring it to a simmer. Sit the chicken pieces on top with the skin facing up. Cover the pot with a lid, and let everything cook for about 30 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to make sure your chicken is fully cooked. All of the stock should also be absorbed.

Pile the rice and vegetable mixture onto a plate, and top it with a piece of chicken. Squeeze a wedge of lemon or lime over everything. Enjoy your warm, delicious, and nutritious dinner! You’ll also only have 1 pot to clean. Hooray!

This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine, Oct. 2011.

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One-Pot Chicken and Rice — 17 Comments

  1. What exactly happens with the squash?
    Haven’t steamed squash before and lil confused about the what you are going for here.
    Do you chop raw or scoop out after steaming?
    The rest of the recipe is awesome.

    • I cut the squash in half, scooped out the seeds, and then steamed it in the microwave until it was just undercooked. Then, I scooped the squash out of its shell and put it into the pot with the other veggies. I don’t like peeling and chopping raw squash. It’s hard! If you don’t mind it, or if you bought pre-cut squash, you can add it in raw at the step with the carrots and swiss chard.

  2. What vegetable can I use in place of the swiss chard? I’ve never heard of it before and I can’t seem to find it at any grocery stores around where I live

  3. I don’t think I can find that type of squash. What is a more common-type squash that you would recommend as a substitute? Thanks!

  4. I tried this recipe last week when visiting my daughter. We left out the squash and used more carrots, since we love carrots!! It was delicious! This recipe is going to be a new regular standby for me!! Making it again tonight, this time using butternut squash!!! Thanks for the great recipe!!!

  5. This was a firm hit in my family. I used butternut squash instead of delicata, kale instead of chard and mixed vegetable broth with chicken broth, added some garlic powder, and it was just delicious. Definitely a future staple. Many thanks for sharing.

  6. I have made this recipe numerous times now!!! It is a regular in our house! I adapt it with whatever vegetables I have on hand or combinations that I like. Tonight I replaced the squash with zucchini and summer squash and added mushrooms. It was great!! The lemon juice added at the end of the recipe adds a wonderful touch!

    • Steaming isn’t necessary– you could roast the squash too. But if your question is whether the squash needs to be pre-cooked: Try adding it raw and let us know. I was cautious to avoid getting undercooked squash in the final meal. I never mind overcooked squash in dishes like this because it melds beautifully into the rest of the ingredients.

  7. Thanks for this recipe! It’s a favourite in our home. I use silver beet when I can’t find chard. Pinned this link to my Food board!

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