This super quick prep Oven Baked Chicken and Rice is made entirely in the oven! The key trick that makes all the difference is baking chopped onion and butter in the pan (instead of sautéing it on the stove) before adding the rice and chicken. The rice is outrageously delicious!
Chicken & rice in various forms is a regular meal in billions of households around the world. And I absolutely cannot believe it has taken me this long to share with you how I make an Oven Baked Chicken and Rice without using the stove at all.
I actually thought I had shared it already. It’s such a back-pocket staple recipe that I can make with my eyes closed, I just assumed it was one I did in the early days when I first started RecipeTin Eats (because patience is not my greatest virtue, I did all my very favourite ones first!).
Every other one-pot-rice this and that recipe on my site starts off on the stove then is finished in the oven. The reason being that they start off by sautéing garlic and onion with oil or butter because it is such an essential flavour base for the whole dish. And also for recipes that are made with skin on chicken thighs, you need to sear the chicken to render out the fat, otherwise it all ends up in the rice.
If you skip the stove step, just chuck everything in a pan and bake it, then it comes out ok…….but it’s missing that extra something something that you get from sautéing garlic and onion.
My solution: Just pop the onion, garlic and butter into the pan and bake it for 15 minutes to replicate sautéing on the stove. 🙂 Then proceed with the usual steps of adding rice, liquids and chicken.
It’s so good.
The “classic” way to make a baked chicken and rice is to start off on the stove and finish in the oven. Like the ever-popular One Pot Greek Chicken & Lemon Rice. Sear chicken to render out the fat, then sauté onion and garlic, add rice and liquid and bring it to a simmer.
This recipe by passes all of that. Active effort time totals less than 10 minutes. The step that requires the most effort for this recipe is chopping the onion. True story.
And the difference in the result? Getting technical, the rice cooks slightly more evenly using the classic method because you can bring it up to temperature in the liquid before popping it in the oven. Also the flavour base is a bit better because the onion is sautéed to golden perfection.
But hand on heart, the overall flavour difference is pretty small. I don’t think most people would notice the difference if they did a blind taste test. (Me included!)
The rice is outrageously good. It’s buttery and garlicky, it’s tender but not mushy (I’m of Japanese background, all Asians are snobs when it comes to rice). It’s got all the flavour from the juices of the chicken and because I finish it off by baking it uncovered for a good 15 minutes to brown the chicken, you get the most insanely gorgeous crust on the top that I just want to pick off and have all to myself.
Dinner just got real easy.
Happy Monday everyone! – Nagi xx
- 5 chicken thigh fillets, bone in, skin OFF (Note 1)
- 1 onion, chopped (brown, white or yellow)
- 2 cloves garlic (large), minced
- 2tbsp/ 30 g butter (or olive oil)
- 1 1/2 cups / 270 g long grain white rice (Note 3)
- 1 1/2 cups / 375 ml chicken broth/stock, warmed
- 1 1/4 / 312 ml cups water, hot (tap is fine)
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Black pepper
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
Scatter onion and garlic in a baking dish (about 10 x 15" / 25 x 35 cm), then place butter in the centre. Bake for 15 minutes (check at 12 minutes, mix if some bits are browning too much).
Meanwhile, mix together Chicken Rub. Sprinkle on both sides of the chicken.
Remove baking dish from the oven. Add rice then mix.
Place chicken on rice. Then pour chicken broth and water around the chicken.
Cover with foil, then bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil then bake for a further 15 minutes.
Stand for 5 minutes, then remove chicken and fluff up rice. Serve and enjoy!
1. Drumsticks will also work great with this, no need to remove the skin and no change to cook time or temp.
I make this with skinless bone-in thigh fillets because they bake in the same time as the rice. In Australia, they are sold with the skin already off at butchers and at Woolworths (in the pre packaged section). The skin must be removed otherwise the rice will be a greasy mess.
If you make this with boneless skinless thigh fillets or breast, add them into the pot 25 minutes into the bake time (so they are in the oven for 25 minutes). Only thing to ensure is that the surface of the dish is not entirely covered with chicken - you need some space for the liquid to evaporate during the uncovered baking time.
2. This Rub can be substituted with any seasonings you want! Lemon Pepper Seasoning, Italian Herb Mix - just use what you have.
3. This recipe is best made with long grain rice because it's less sticky than short and medium grain. Basmati and jasmine will also work - around the same cook time. For brown rice, leave it covered for 45 minutes then bake uncovered 15 - 20 minutes until rice is tender (chicken will be more tender too, other option is to add chicken 15 minutes into the bake time at the beginning but I personal would not bother).
4. This recipe makes 5 very generous servings! The nutrition assumes all the rice is consumed which it may not be.
Oven Baked Chicken and Rice recipe video!
Oven Baked Chicken and Rice nutrition.
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