Chicken and rice – loaded with Mexican flavours! This One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice brings together your favourite Mexican Red Rice with a fajita seasoned chicken, all made in one pot! You’ll love the fluffy the rice, juicy chicken with crispy skin and the sweet pops of corn. It’s a flavour explosion!
I’m a big fan of one pot chicken and rice recipes like Baked Rotisserie Chicken with Garlic Butter Rice, Chinese Chicken and Rice, Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice and Chicken and Rice Pilaf. Big flavours, two dishes made in ONE pot!
One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice
I’m dedicating this One Pot Meal to all the other people out there who a) love Mexican food b) love flavour explosions; and c) hate washing up 🙂
The idea to make this came about when I saw this Oven Baked Mexican Rice by Imma at African Bites, one of my favourite blogs. I wondered if I could cook chicken in the same pot to make it a complete meal.
And it worked! Well, the second time it did. The first time I used the same rice to liquid ratio that Imma uses and did not take into account that the chicken releases juices while cooking so the rice was too soft and mushy. Also I adjusted the amount of flavourings in my rice because there is no sauce with this chicken so I wanted the rice to be well flavoured so it could be eaten plain.
The chicken is rubbed with classic Fajita flavours, then seared until brown. I used bone-in chicken thighs with the skin on because I love the crispy skin and I believe that bone-in meats are always juicier. But this recipe works really well with chicken thigh as well (or drumsticks). I personally have not made it with chicken breast because I find chicken breast too dry for this type of recipe (i.e. no sauce or soup).
I would love to hear if you give this a try! This really is a strong flavoured dish because of the spices used in it. The heat comes from a touch of cayenne pepper – you can adjust this to your taste, or substitute with another hot spice or even a dash of your favourite hot sauce! – Nagi
One Pot Chicken and Rice Collection
I’m a big fan of cooking chicken and rice together – for the extra flavour you get! Less washing up is a bonus. 🙂
- One Pan Baked Chicken with Garlic Butter Rice – Seasoned chicken baked with a fluffy buttery garlic rice
- Sticky Baked Chicken with Fruit and Nut Pilaf
- One Pan Baked Chicken Shawarma with Chickpea Pilaf
- Baked Lemon Pepper Chicken with Creamy Risotto
- One Pot Chinese Chicken and Rice – it’s like Chinese chicken AND fried rice, all made in one pot!
One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice
Mexican Spice Mix
- 1 tbsp garlic powder (or 2 garlic cloves, minced)
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (Note 1), optional
- Black pepper
- 5 chicken thigh fillets , bone-in and skin on (Notes 2 and 3)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lime (juice only)
- 1 small onion , peeled and diced (or 1/2 large)
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- 1 red capsicum (bell pepper), sliced
- 1 cup long grain rice , uncooked (Note 4)
- 1 cup chicken stock/broth (or vegetable stock)
- 3/4 cup tomato puree or passata (Note 5)
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels (or canned - drained)
- 1 can (400g/16oz) black beans , drained and rinsed (or sub with red kidney beans)
- 1 lime , plus extra to serve
- Sliced jalapeño peppers (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- Combine the Mexican Spice Mix ingredients in a small bowl.
- Rub Chicken: Place 2 tbsp of the Mexican Spice Mix in a small bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil and lime juice. Mix to combine. Use your hands to slather the Mexican Spice Mix all over each piece of chicken.
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a deep skillet over medium high heat. Cook chicken in batches for 2 minutes or until browned, then cook the other side for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove chicken onto a plate.
- In the same skillet, still over medium high heat, add the onion, garlic and capsicum (bell peppers). Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion and capsicum start to brown. These will get covered in the brown bits stuck to the fry pan from searing the chicken (adds flavour and colour to the rice).
- Turn the stove down to medium, then add the rice. Stir to coat the rice grains with the onion mixture and oil.
- Add the chicken stock, tomato puree/passata, corn, beans and remaining Mexican Spice Mix. Stir to combine.
- Place chicken back in the skillet on top of the rice, skin side up. It should be partially submerged in the liquid but most of the skin should be above the liquid.
- Bring to simmer, then turn off the stove. Cover the skillet with a lid or foil and place into the oven.
- Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and take off the lid/foil.
- Return the skillet to the oven, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes until only small puddles of liquid remain on the surface of the rice. This step allows the chicken skin to crisp up and the remaining liquid in the rice to largely evaporate.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes (uncovered). Any remaining liquid will evaporate in this step.
- Squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the chicken and rice.
- Serve, garnished with coriander/cilantro leaves, extra lime wedges and sliced jalapeños, if desired. Sour cream and yoghurt also goes well with this.