One-pot meal with chicken thighs and rice

This dish is a game changer. It's delicious. It's done in about 35 minutes. And, not only have you cooked both a protein and a side in one go, you're not dirtying a ton of dishes. Packed with flavor – but not overpowering – the slightly Mediterranean notes of this dish make for a year-round crowd-pleaser for a group or the best of leftovers for weeknight dinners and workday lunches. I like to finish the dish with a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice for some brightness and acid.

If you want a vegetable side, try prepare this Chopped Salad while the chicken and rice simmer.

This recipe serves four people.


What you need

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tbsp golden raisins
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 2 sprigs Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, optional
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more to season chicken thighs
  • Black pepper, freshly cracked

How to do it

Generously season chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper.

In a large sautoir – you need a pan with 3-inch sides and a lid or to fit a piece of foil over the top – heat vegetable oil over high heat until smoking hot (when a drop of water hits the pan, it sizzles). Place the chicken thighs into the pan skin-side down. After about 30 seconds, lower heat to medium-high.

Sear chicken thighs on both sides for five minutes each. After you turn the chicken thighs after the first five minutes, begin to heat the chicken stock over high heat in a separate sauce pan.

Once cooked, set chicken thighs aside on a rack or plate to rest.

Lower heat on the sautoir on the stove to medium and, if necessary, drain away any liquid in excess of a tablespoon (sometimes once-frozen thighs can put off extra water; some chickens can also be fatty and you don't want that extra fat in there). 

Add garam masala to sautoir and toast for 30 seconds, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon so that it doesn't burn to the bottom of the hot pan, until the spices become fragrant.

Add rice and raisins to the spices and stir for about one minute coating in the spices. Next stir in parsley and salt.

Add the chicken thighs back to the pan and situate over the of the rice, allowing for a few inches between each piece of meat.

When chicken stock reaches a boil, pour into the center of sautoir with the chicken thighs and rice. Cover immediately and adjust heat to medium-low. Simmer for 25 minutes with a lid. Once cooked, move the sautoir off the stove and allow to sit for 5 minutes before removing the lid.

Serve immediately with a few squeezes of lemon juice over the top.

For leftovers, I like to divide all remaining chicken thighs into separate containers and portion out the rice for lunches and dinners throughout the week. Of course, the chicken skin won't be as delicious as it would after the first cook, but this dish holds up really well. Reheat in the microwave on high for 1-and-1/2 to 2 minutes.