This delicious Mediterranean spiced one pot chicken and rice was the result of my experiments with weeknight dinner where my primary objective was to make tasty food quickly! And that’s exactly what this turned out to be!
I and my better half – we both love Mediterranean flavors! The subtle yet mind-blowing flavors of the herbs create magic to any dish and that’s the story of this Mediterranean spiced one pot chicken and rice recipe!
It was a hectic weekday which finally turned into a culinary success! I was contemplating what to make for lunch as well as dinner which would not demand too much time as well monitoring. Then the chicken drumsticks in my freezer flashed the idea of one pot chicken and rice!
After zeroing in on the main ingredients of our meal, the very next task was to decide the particular recipe or the flavor profile. There were two primary options – Indian or Western! Indian recipe would demand more chopping & cutting which is why we finally picked the Mediterranean one!
Making one pot chicken and rice follows a straight-forward strategy. Once you know which spices you will be adding to your one pot meal, all that is left to do is sauté the chicken & rice, add spices, the right amount of water and cover & cook! That’s it!
There are few tips & tricks in order to ensure that your rice comes out fluffy and your chicken cooks completely at the same time. Trust me, I have messed up this one pot chicken and rice quite a few times due to couple of mistakes which I will discuss shortly so that you can avoid them.
The Mediterranean spices made this chicken and rice incredibly tasty with the subtle undertone of all the herbs creating their magical spell simultaneously! The kick of red pepper flakes is simply the icing on top as we love things hot!
When you make one pot chicken and rice, you need to give special attention to the vessel you would be cooking it in. A Dutch oven would be the ideal choice; even a heavy bottomed stock pot would also work nicely.
The important aspect to take note of is that your vessel must have a thick bottom. The reason being that chicken and rice will cook together with minimal liquid for considerable time and if the bottom of the pan is not thick enough, your food may burn even on lowest heat setting.
I would recommend a non-stick stock-pot, if you don’t have a Dutch oven, as non-stick pots possess minimum chance of food getting sticky. Also, make sure to keep the heat on lowest setting.
If you don’t have a heavy bottomed pot, then place your vessel on top of a skillet or griddle and then place the griddle on the flame. This will prevent the direct heat to reach the main pot and your chicken and rice will remain completely safe!
Another important thing to master in order to make perfect one pot chicken and rice every time is adding right amount of water to your dish. Water will, obviously, cook the rice and chicken; but too much water will make your rice mushy and soggy and too little won’t cook things properly and you may even risk burning the food.
I have had my fair share of soggy rice and finally I devised a working plan which led me to success! The total cooking time of one pot rice and chicken is about 30 minutes.
When I cook just plain rice, rice to water ratio is simple 1:2 i.e. double amount of water to rice. While cooking one pot chicken and rice, first I add 1.5 times of water to rice which simply means 1 & ½ cup of water to 1 cup rice and let it cook for 15 minutes on low.
After 15 minutes I do a quick check and only if the rice is not cooked completely, I add the remaining half cup of water and let it cook for another 15 minutes on low. This process has resulted into fluffy rice every time with no excess moisture and chicken pieces are also cooked to perfection!
Make sure to cover the pot both the times with a tight fitting lid to prevent the steam from escaping. And once the cooking is done completely, leave the pot undisturbed with lid on for 15 minutes.
This will ensure that any excess moisture is soaked up leaving behind beautiful fluffy rice which doesn’t stick to each other and you reward yourself & your family with a scrumptious dish of chicken and rice! Trust me this is nothing short of a show-stopper!
I have also made Indian spiced one pot chicken and rice and will share that recipe petty soon as well. It just requires little more spices than this Mediterranean spiced one pot chicken and rice.
The Italian seasoning is the key player in this dish to give it a soul-satisfying taste. The chicken too is infused with the goodness of all the aromatic herbs like oregano, thyme, basil & more!
If you follow this recipe, I can guarantee that your chicken will be cooked to perfection and you will get succulent & juicy pieces of chicken which are loaded with immense flavor! I bet you won’t be able to make up your mind which one is better – flavored rice or flavored chicken?
- Chicken drumsticks – 4 to 6
- Uncooked rice – 1 cup
- Onion – 2, large, finely chopped
- Garlic – 10 to 12 cloves, grated
- Italian seasoning – 1 tbsp
- Red pepper flakes – 1 tsp
- Cayenne pepper – 1 tsp
- Olive oil – 5 to 6 tbsp
- Freshly ground black pepper – 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Freshly chopped parsley to garnish
- Wash the rice 3 to 4 times to rinse out excess starch. Drain out all the water and set it aside.
- Wash the chicken drumsticks and add salt and pepper to them as per taste. Gently toss them to mix the seasoning well.
- Heat a Dutch oven or any heavy bottomed pot with high sides. Add the olive oil to it.
- Once the oil is moderately hot, add chopped onion and sauté them on medium until it turns translucent and softens a bit, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Now add the grated garlic and sauté them on medium heat for couple of minutes.
- Next add the seasoned chicken drumsticks and continue sautéing them on medium heat until the drumsticks start developing color on the meaty portion. This would take about 5 to 7 minutes on medium-high heat.
- Now add all the spices – Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes & cayenne pepper and sauté the spices on medium flame for just couple of minutes.
- Now add the washed rice and mix it well with the spices. Add salt and black pepper to taste as per the rice.
- Sauté the rice in oil and spices for 3 to 4 minutes on medium high flame. Once the rice becomes glossy, add 1 & ½ cups of water and bring it to boil switching up the flame to high.
- As soon as the water starts boiling, lower the flame to minimum, cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and let it simmer for 15 minutes. I recommend to use a timer in order to achieve perfection.
- After 15 minutes, uncover the pot. If there is enough water left and the rice is completely cooked, then do not add any additional water but cover and cook for another 10 minutes on lowest flame.
- But if the water is mostly absorbed and the rice is only 50% cooked, then add additional half a cup of water, preferably hot, and cover & cook the chicken and rice for additional 15 minutes.
- After this final 15 minutes, switch off the flame and leave the pot undisturbed for 15 more minutes before serving.
- Now your Mediterranean one pot chicken and rice is ready! Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve it with your favorite drink on the side! Enjoy!