Mom's Roasted Chicken And Rice
I really can’t believe I haven’t shared this recipe sooner. I make it all the time. It takes a couple of pans/pots to make but other than (having to clean a few extra pans/pots) that there is very little effort involved for big reward when it comes to this recipe.
I think every culture has its version of this dish. I wouldn’t say this is a classic Greek recipe but it is one my mom made regularly growing up. Hers is still my very favourite. She nails the chicken/rice ratio all the time along with the texture and flavour of the rice as well. This is quite annoying by the way and I will tell you why. She measures nothing and just gets it right all the time. She just has the touch when it comes to food. Didn’t quite get that gene from her – I have to try a lot harder to achieve the same when it comes to her cooking.
So with a lot of practice through the years and some failed smushy rice that we had to eat cause you can’t waste food (thanks for being the best and most tolerant husband Johann and never complaining) I did get it right and close enough to Mom’s. The rice turns out buttery and oh so flavourful from being sautéed with the veggies but also because it cooks in broth and the fabulous juices from the chicken as it cooks and releases them into the pan. This with a side salad and some feta and olives and you have yourself a great little meal!
The rice turns out buttery and oh so flavourful from being sautéed with the veggies
Now you might look at this recipe and think – basic and not too much extra flavours, and you would be totally right. I think of this recipe as a basis for adding different flavours of you chose to. You most definitely can spice up your chicken more and even marinate it but you don’t have to.
This is a basic recipe that ends up flavourful and comforting achieving the similar flavours of a big pot of chicken and rice soup (my favourite by the way). The comfort for me is in the flavours but more so because it reminds me of mom and walking home from school on a cold day and feeling the warmth in the house as I walked through the door, red cheeks and frozen fingers and toes - smelling this chicken and rice baking in the oven and instantly - comfort feels arise!! Crazy how food memory’s can be so strong that you can taste them – amazing!!
Anyways I do love the buttery flavours of the rice and the simple roasted chicken flavours but you can customise to your taste. I have added lemon juice and lemon slices to the dish and some fresh herbs to Greek-ify it more and I like to add in some frozen peas sometimes to the rice as well. You can add other seasoning and flavours to the chicken rub as well. It really is versatile!
This is a family classic and I’m sure you will enjoy it. Give it a try and put your own spin and signature on it and hopefully it will become a family classic in your home as well!
- 6 pieces of chicken skin on bone in cleaned and patted dry (could be any piece but I usually do legs)
- 3 cups rice rinsed
- 6 cups of chicken broth or water (I do just a tad under 6 because I usually add any juices from browning the chicken too)
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped finely
- 2 stalks celery chopped finely
- 2 onions chopped finely
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 tbsp of olive oil plus a little more if needed for browning meat
- 2 tbsp butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
Chicken Rub Mixture
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Dried thyme (optional - I don’t always add it but sometimes I do)
Preheat oven to 350 ° F
Once chicken is cleaned and dry, rub chicken with the spice mixture and set aside
Heat a large skillet to medium high, add 2 tbsp of olive oil adding more if needed and brown the chicken on both sides for a few minutes each (you are not cooking it through just getting the skin and outside nice and brown). Don’t overcrowd pan, brown them in batches and then set aside.
In a medium size pot heat up butter and remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil and add the onions, garlic, and veggies and sauté at medium heat until softened and browned - approx ten minutes and season generously with salt and pepper, then add the rice and sauté for a few minutes. Add the broth and any pan juices from chicken and once its heated through and about to boil pour the whole rice mixture into your baking dish
Place the chicken over the rice and broth, cover with foil and bake for approx 35 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated, rice is tender, and both chicken and rice is nice and golden brown.