This one pot curried chicken and rice is a one pot wonder in true sense; it is loaded with amazing flavors and can please a crowd with minimal effort!
Year-end brings in lots of house parties and gatherings and I bet when it’s your turn of being the host, you keep on looking recipes which can please your guests without sweating you out in the kitchen. If that’s the very reason of you stumbling upon this recipe, then fret not! You have come to the right place! Today’s recipe – one-pot curried chicken and rice – is a genuine crowd-pleaser and you will be amazed to see how simple it is to put together.
Don’t get worried with the ‘curried’ thing. I assure you that you won’t need thousand different spices to get that ‘curried’ stuff materialized. Just get some basic aromatics which are typically used in Indian recipes, like ginger, garlic and onions, and you are sorted. Simply kick start the process and the rest of the cooking happens on its own.
For this one pot chicken and rice, I used chicken thighs – skin-on and bone-in – because this cut has the maximum flavor. Chicken breasts won’t be suitable for this recipe. Bones and skins add extra flavor to the rice during the cooking process which makes the long grain rice tastier than the chicken itself. The skin becomes crispy and absolutely yum!
One secret I must share about this one! You may already know that Indian curries are usually based on tomato puree made out of fresh tomatoes. But in my recipe of one pot chicken and rice, I gave my twist. I added a generous amount of sun-dried tomatoes and it complemented all the other spices so perfectly that it was almost unbelievable. Sun-dried tomatoes are hardly known or seen in Indian kitchens but after this successful experiments, I am sure it could do wonders to Indian recipes!
By looking at the pictures, you may wonder if it is a modified version of chicken biryani; but trust me it’s not. Not only the process is very different but also they are very different in both taste and flavor. This is much simpler than making a chicken biryani which requires some effort. And of course biryani is never a one-pot meal; not even close to it! You will need thousands of pots and pans for it but yeah they are all worth it at the end!
This one pot curried chicken and rice is kind of a comfort food which you can make for your guests. It will make them full without making them feel heavy so that you all can have a soothing yet fun filled conversation while enjoying the food and drink. That’s why I call this a one-pot wonder!
- Chicken thigh – 8, skin-on and bone-in
- Long grain rice – 1 & ½ cups, washed, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
- Onion – 2, medium, sliced
- Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
- Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
- Curry powder – 2 & ½ tbsp
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Paprika/red chilli powder – 1 tsp
- Garam masala – 1 tbsp
- Sun dried tomatoes – 1 cup, cut into thin strips
- Green peas – 1 cup (Use fresh or frozen)
- Fresh coriander leaves – 1 cup, chopped
- Vegetable oil – 4 tbsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Wash and pat dry the chicken thighs. Add half a tablespoon of curry powder and half a teaspoon of salt and mix well. Let the chicken marinate for an hour.
- Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a deep large pot and place the chicken pieces, skin side down. Let the chicken sear for 5 to 8 minutes on medium heat. This will crisp up the skin and add more flavor to the oil. Flip it over and sear the other side too. Both sides should develop deep golden color. Take them out and set aside.
- Now heat the remaining oil in the same pot. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced onions, ginger and garlic paste. Sauté them for 10 to 15 minutes on low-medium heat until the onions are soft and golden brown.
- Add the strips of sun dried tomatoes and some of the oil it comes with for extra flavor. Keep sautéing for 5 minutes.
- Next add the remaining curry powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and paprika or red chilli powder. Season with salt to taste. Add a splash of water to prevent the spices from burning. Saute it for couple of minutes until fragrant.
- Now add 3 and ½ cup of water (Amount of water should be double the volume of rice + ½ cup) and let it come to boil.
- Add the drained rice and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Give a good stir and let it come to boil again on high heat. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, add the seared chicken pieces along with all the released juices and bring the heat to minimum.
- If using fresh green peas, add them now. In case of frozen peas, add them after 15 minutes.
- Cover and let the rice cook on low heat. This would take anywhere between 20 to 25 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Turn off the flame and let it sit covered for 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle fresh coriander leaves and serve the curried chicken and rice with a bowl of raita. Enjoy!