One pot Spanish chicken and rice is the perfect holiday meal not only because it is immensely easy to make, but also because of its incredible taste which will prove to be a true crowd pleaser!
I am always on the lookout for one pot meals which is why you will find plenty of such recipes in my blog and this Spanish one pot chicken and rice fits the bill perfectly! This Spanish flavored chicken and rice is truly mind blowing and you will shortly know why!
The Spanish seasoning, which is just a quick blend of some of the regular powdered spices, is a keeper and can be used to create varieties of dishes one of which being this one pot chicken and rice! The flavors were simply addictive!
One pot recipes are real dreams for professionals like us who has to spend a significant time on the day job and at the same time loves to manage most of the important household chores all by themselves; especially cooking!
I’m sure there are many passionate home chefs like me who are immensely skilled in their craft and loves to cook for their family; they too must be on the lookout for such one pan dinner ideas which I am sure makes things somewhat easy in the kitchen for them too!
This Spanish one pot chicken and rice is a very homely sort of recipe and can be customized or redesigned as per your liking. For example, I had used boneless & skinless chicken thighs in my recipe, but you can easily use any portion of chicken that you like the most.
Chicken drumsticks or chicken breasts can easily replace the chicken thighs without any compromise in taste. Only change I would recommend is to sear the pieces little longer if you are using drumsticks and little lesser if using chicken breasts. Rest you can follow as is.
The Spanish seasoning used in this recipe is a mix of flavorful aromatics like onion & garlic powder, ground cumin & coriander, chilli powder and a dash of Italian seasoning. But the primary flavoring ingredient is smoked paprika which is a must have ingredient in this spice blend!
Smoked paprika adds the right kind of smoky flavor in this Spanish chicken and rice recipe which is the key flavor of the dish. So don’t skip it! Thanks to the smokiness of this spice blend, this can be used with any kind of meat, poultry or fish; so make a big batch and keep it handy!
While making this chicken and rice dish, it is important to sear the chicken pieces until they are nicely browned. This step will ensure that your final dish is full of flavor. When you sear the seasoned chicken, it creates that brown layer on the surface locking in all the flavors.
Additionally searing chicken adds tons of flavors into the oil which in turn flavors the rice when you cook it in the same oil! So, searing chicken is a must if you don’t want to compromise on the flavor of the dish!
For searing your meat in any recipe and not just this one, I would recommend using a cast iron skillet as that will give you the best browning effect. If you are not comfortable with cast iron, then use a heavy bottomed stainless steel pan which has higher sides to hold rice and chicken together.
I would not recommend a non-stick pan as that will not provide right amount of heat to perfectly sear the meat. This Spanish one pot chicken and rice is also a good option for family meals during upcoming holidays as it can easily be scaled up and joyfully feed a crowd! I suggest you give it a try and I bet you won’t regret! Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from: CREME DE LA CRUMB
- Chicken thighs – 6, skinless and either boneless or bone-in
- White rice – 1 cup, uncooked, washed and water drained out
- Lemon – 2
- Vegetable or canola oil – 4 tbsp
- Water or chicken broth – 2 & ½ cups
- Freshly chopped parsley or cilantro to garnish
- Garlic powder – 1 tsp
- Onion powder – ½ tsp
- Smoked paprika – 2 tsp
- Cumin powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander powder – 1 tsp
- Chilli powder – 1 tsp
- Italian seasoning – ½ tsp
- Salt – 1 tsp or to taste
- First make the seasoning by mixing all the ingredients listed under Spanish seasoning in a small bowl. Take time to whisk so that all the powdered spices are evenly combined. Divide the mixture in half and set aside.
- Cut one lemon into thin slices. Squeeze the juice of the other lemon.
- Wash and pat dry the chicken thighs. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil over the chicken and toss them. Now sprinkle half of the Spanish seasoning over the chicken thighs. Rub the seasoning evenly to coat all the chicken thighs with the spice mix on all sides.
- Heat a large skillet and add remaining oil to it. Once the oil is hot, place the chicken thighs in a single layer. Cook the chicken for 5 to 6 minutes on medium-low until it develops a nice brown color.
- Flip the chicken over and cook the other side for another 3 to 4 minutes. Take them out on a plate and set aside.
- If your skillet looks too dry, then add little more oil and once the oil is hot again, add the rice. Sauté the rice for 3 to 4 minutes on medium flame until it becomes glossy.
- Now add the remaining Spanish spice mix and the juice of the lemon. Give a good mix. I like to sauté the spices in oil for couple of minutes before adding any liquid. So cook the rice with spices on medium flame for good 2 to 3 minutes.
- Now add the water (or broth) and give a good mix to combine everything together evenly. Finally return the seared chicken thighs on top of the rice along with any accumulated juice on the plate.
- Cover and cook on lowest heat setting for 25 to 30 minutes or until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed. Keep checking after every 10 minutes if the liquid is absorbed and rice started to stick to the pan.
- If you feel that the rice is not soft enough but the liquid has been absorbed completely, pour hot water or broth along the sides of the skillet, half a cup at a time. Then cover and cook again for 10 minutes or until the rice is soft to your liking and the liquid is all soaked up.
- Your Spanish chicken and rice is ready! Garnish with lemon slices and freshly chopped parsley or cilantro! Serve warm and enjoy!