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Introducing the scrumptious One Pot Spanish Chicken and Rice, a simple yet delightful weeknight meal packed with succulent chicken, aromatic spices, and vibrant veggies. This easy-to-make recipe is sure to transport your taste buds to Spain and impress your family and friends!
Easy One Pot Spanish Chicken And Rice Recipe
Today I want to share with you one of my all-time favorite recipes, the One Pot Spanish Chicken and Rice. This dish is a true testament to the beauty of Spanish cuisine, as it’s full of bold flavors, vibrant colors, and delightful textures. It’s a dish that’s close to my heart because it embodies the warmth and comfort of home-cooked meals, and I just know it’s going to become a staple in your kitchen as well.
One of the things I love most about this recipe is its simplicity. With just a few staple ingredients and a single pot, you can create a meal that is both hearty and satisfying. The combination of tender chicken, perfectly cooked rice, and a medley of veggies, all infused with the rich flavors of smoked paprika and tomato, creates a harmony of taste that is truly irresistible.
Plus, the addition of olives and parsley as a garnish adds that extra pop of flavor and freshness, making this dish a true culinary delight. So gather up your ingredients, friends, and let’s get cooking!
Why We Love This Spanish Chicken And Rice
- Simple Recipe! This is a really easy one-pot chicken and rice dinner that comes together in just a few easy steps and doesn’t require any fancy ingredients.
- Delicious Spanish Flavor! With just a bit of smoked paprika, olive oil, and olives you can turn simple chicken thighs and rice into a dish layered with Spanish flavor.
- Weeknight Meal! Chicken dishes are always family favorites and affordable to make, so this quick and easy recipe is sure to become one of your go-to weeknight dinners.
- Chicken – I used bone in skin on thighs, but feel free to use breast if you’d like.
- Olive oil – We want a nice rich oil to brown and saute our ingredients in.
- Veggies – Bell pepper and onion, be sure to choose an onion that cooks down well like white or yellow.
- Spices – Smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf. Be sure to remove the bay leaf before eating the dish.
- Garlic – Use as much or little as you like.
- Tomato paste – This ingredient is super important for achieving our color and depth of flavor.
- Rice – I used long grain rice uncooked which is what I recommend for this dish to achieve the proper consistency and texture.
- Tomatoes – 1 large can of crushed tomatoes to give our rice some liquid to cook in.
- Broth – Chicken broth low or no sodium so as to control the sodium content of our dish.
- Olives – Green or black olives pitted. Olives offer some great brightness and acidity to this dish, feel free to leave them out if you’re not a fan.
- Parsley – No Jo Cooks recipe would be complete without this ingredient chopped up fresh and sprinkled liberally on top.
This one-pot recipe doesn’t require much effort or skill! So if you’ve got 10 minutes to spare, then you’ve got enough time to prep this dish and pop it into the oven to cook!
There is not much prep involved and this dish comes together fairly quickly. So before you begin, preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C) to give the oven an adequate amount of time to heat up before the dish goes in to bake.
Next, pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Then heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet or oven-proof pan. Next, add the thighs skin side down to the hot skillet and cook them until the skin is crispy and golden brown. Then generously sprinkle them with salt and pepper to season. Now, flip the thighs over and cook them on the other side until they are golden in color. Then transfer the chicken to a plate and set it aside for a later step.
After the chicken is seared, use the same skillet for this step. To start, add the onions, garlic, and bell peppers to the pan and cook them for about 3 to 5 minutes or until they are soft.
Next, stir in the red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, bay leaf, and tomato paste. Then season everything with a bit more salt and pepper as needed.
Now, stir in the uncooked rice, crushed tomatoes, and chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil.
After the rice begins to boil, place the chicken thighs in a single layer on top of the rice. Now, put the skillet in the oven and bake the dish for about 45 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked. Another option is to cover the skillet for the first 30 minutes of cooking and then remove the lid for the last 15 minutes. If you don’t have an oven-proof lid for your pan you can also use foil.
Once the one pan Spanish chicken and rice is done cooking, remove it from the oven right away. Then garnish it with some sliced green olives and fresh parsley. Now, serve the dish immediately to enjoy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to rinse the rice?
Overall, it’s a good idea to always rinse rice before cooking it. Doing so not only removes any unwanted dirt or debris but also helps to remove any excess starch. The result is fluffier rice that isn’t gummy.
Can I use boneless chicken thighs or breasts instead of bone-in chicken thighs?
Yes, you can use boneless chicken thighs or breasts. However, bone-in chicken thighs add more flavor to the dish and tend to stay juicier during cooking. Adjust the cooking time accordingly if using boneless chicken, as it may cook faster.
Can I make this dish vegetarian or vegan?
To make this dish vegetarian, you can omit the chicken and add more veggies like zucchini, eggplant, or mushrooms. For a vegan option, replace the chicken with a plant-based protein like chickpeas or tofu and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
Can I add other spices to this dish?
Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with additional spices such as cumin, coriander, or saffron to give the dish a unique twist or to cater to your personal taste preferences.
- Searing the chicken: Make sure to sear the chicken thighs well on both sides to create a crispy skin and to lock in the flavors. This step also adds depth to the overall taste of the dish as the chicken juices and browned bits are incorporated into the rice later.
- Deglazing the pan: After cooking the chicken and vegetables, you may find browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Deglazing with a splash of chicken broth or white wine can help release these flavorful bits, which can then be stirred into the rice mixture for added flavor.
- Adjusting liquid ratios: Different types of rice may require slightly different amounts of liquid or cooking times. Be sure to check the package instructions for the rice you’re using and adjust the recipe accordingly. If you find the rice isn’t fully cooked at the end of the baking time, you can add a bit more liquid and continue cooking until it’s done.
- Serve with a side: Although this is a complete meal on its own, you can serve it alongside a fresh green salad, crusty bread, or a simple cucumber and tomato salad for a more substantial meal.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in a skillet over low heat or in the microwave until warmed through.
To freeze, allow the Spanish chicken and rice to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight, freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 2-3 months. To reheat, thaw the dish in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in a skillet or microwave until warmed through.
More Delicious Chicken Recipes To Try:
- Lemon and Chicken Rice Bake
- No Peek Chicken Rice Casserole
- One Pot Cheesy Chicken Rice Casserole
- Chicken Rice Pilaf
- 3 Ingredients Mexican Rice
- Chicken Enchilada Rice Casserole
- One Pot Chicken and Orzo
- Chicken Cacciatore
- Creamy Chicken And Rice
- Paella Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 chicken thighs (with bone and skin)
- ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 6 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 red bell peppers (chopped)
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1½ cups long grain rice (uncooked)
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
- ½ cup olives (pitted and sliced)
- 1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
- In a large Dutch oven or oven proof cast iron skillet/pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken thighs, skin side down and cook until crispy and golden brown. Season generously with salt and pepper. Turn the thighs over and sear until golden. Transfer the thighs onto a plate and set aside.
- To the same skillet add the onion, garlic and bell peppers. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes until the onion and peppers are soft.
- Add the red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, bay leaf, tomato paste and stir. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Stir in the rice, crushed tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
- Transfer the chicken back to the skillet on top of the rice. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. You could cover the skillet for the first 30 minutes and then remove the lid for the last 15 minutes.
- Garnish with olives, parsley and serve warm.
- If you use brown rice, cook for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
- You can use any type of chicken you prefer. If you’re using chicken breasts, cook for an additional 10 minutes in the oven.
- Be sure to store this dish as soon as it’s cooled as rice is a breeding ground for bacteria. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 – 4 days. If freezing store this dish in a freezer bag with the air pressed out. Thaw overnight in the fridge and fluff the rice before reheating. This dish will last up to 3 months in the freezer.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.