There is some version of chicken and rice in almost every culture. Some are more finicky than others, requiring special ingredients or equipment. To be honest, I’ve never had a version of chicken and rice that I didn’t like, but the goal of this version is to keep some of those classic flavors, but also make it approachable on a weeknight! And – AND – be very kid-friendly!
Let’s dive in and make some chicken and rice!
A CLASSIC ONE POT MEAL
Many chicken and rice recipes can be made in a single skillet. This version is no different, and one of the major appeals is the very little cleanup! Cook the chicken, add the veggies and rice, nestle the chicken back in, simmer it all together, and dinner is done.
THE BEST CHICKEN TO USE FOR THIS RECIPE
In theory, you can use any chicken to make this dish, but to keep things simple I prefer to use boneless, skinless chicken breast.
I like to slice mine into about 2-ounce pieces. These make really approachable serving sizes for kids and are easy to stir into the skillet while the rice is simmering.
RINSE YOUR RICE!
The important tip for this recipe is to make sure to rinse your rice really well with cold water before adding it to the skillet. If you don’t rinse it well, the starch from the rice will make the dish gummy.
HOW TO TELL WHEN THE DISH IS READY
Once your rice and stock are in the skillet, simmer it on low heat for about 15 minutes, covered. It’s tough to give exact cooking instructions for the rice because it depends a lot on your skillet, your stove, and the rice you use. In general, I would check the rice after 15 minutes of low heat simmering.
Then you’ll have to make some game-time decisions! It’s possible you nail it and the rice is tender and the stock is absorbed. This means you’re done. Yay!
It’s more likely that you’ll need to tweak the recipe a bit.
- If the rice is still crunchy and the skillet is dry at this point, add more broth by the half cup and continue to simmer on low, covered, in three-minute batches until the rice is tender.
- If the rice is tender but there is still stock in the skillet that hasn’t been absorbed, then remove the lid and let the stock evaporate off for a few minutes.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH SKILLET CHICKEN AND RICE
I think this is a pretty all-in-one meal, especially if you add the peas to the skillet! You could serve this with a starter salad or soup, though, to round out the meal.
SUBSTITUTIONS FOR THIS RECIPE
If you aren’t a chicken fan, you could substitute thinly sliced pork chops or even a pound of sliced mushrooms to make a mushroom and rice vegetarian version!
You could also substitute other hearty grains like farro, but your cooking time and liquid will have to increase. You’ll have to keep an eye on it as it cooks and add more liquid if the skillet gets dry.
STORING AND REHEATING CHICKEN AND RICE
This chicken and rice skillet stores great in the fridge for five days. If you are reheating it from the fridge, you can do so in the microwave on high in short, 30-second bursts. Or you can add it back to a skillet and reheat on low with a splash of water.
This dish also freezes well and can be frozen (in an airtight container) for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
The DAD ADD
This dish really doesn’t need a Dad Add. It’s a full meal for adult or kid. I did add a splash of hot sauce to my leftovers one day, and that was a welcome addition. Far from necessary, though! It’s just a perfect family-friendly meal as is!
Rejoice! My kids absolutely loved this recipe. Normally my five-year-old is the chicken and rice fan, but something about this version was more appealing to my younger one.
The only tip I would give to parents is that this dish can be somewhat intimidating if you just pile it on a plate. I split up the rice and peas and then sliced the chicken and served it in separate portions for my kids and they had clean plates.
More Chicken and Rice Meals
Skillet Chicken and Rice Recipe
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into slices 1/2-inch thick and 2-3 inches long
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice, rinsed well
- 3-4 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup frozen sweet peas
- Fresh parsley, garnish
1 Cook the chicken: Season your sliced chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large (at least 12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes per side, getting a decent sear on both sides. It’s okay at this point if your chicken isn’t cooked all the way through.
2 Cook the onions: Remove chicken from the skillet and add onions and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, softening veggies. Add dried oregano and basil to the skillet and stir together.
3 Assemble the skillet and simmer: Stir in the rinsed white rice and nestle chicken pieces back in the skillet. Then add 3 cups of the chicken stock and stir gently to make sure chicken stock is evenly distributed. Bring to a simmer, turn heat down to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
4 Check the rice: After 15 minutes, check the skillet. If the rice is tender and the skillet is dry, then the dish is ready to serve. If the rice isn’t quite done and the skillet is dry, add another 1/2 cup of broth, re-cover the skillet, and continue to simmer for a few minutes. If the rice is cooked but there is still some stock in the skillet, uncover the pan and let the extra stock cook off for a few minutes.
When the rice seems just about done, add the frozen peas to the skillet. They will thaw quickly!
5 Serve! Garnish finished chicken and rice skillet with parsley.
Reheating leftovers: Leftovers keep great in the fridge for up to five days. Reheat in the microwave in 30-second bursts on high or in a skillet over medium-low heat with a splash of water. You can also freeze the chicken and rice for up to three months.
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