So last night, we had friends over for dinner. Yes, it was on a Tuesday night after a long day at work, and I had to rush home to get myself started in the kitchen, but I’ve found out I could cook a perfect recipe within no time, and rejoice my guests’s palate with soft yet consistent flavors. They found it literally sensational, and so did I, as it was my first time making this dish (I like to try my recipes on guests a lot, haha!).
To all the busy women of our modern times, whether you are a business woman or an active housewife, this One Pot Chicken Thighs and Lemon Rice is pure gold on a plate. It’s so quick and easy to make that it is almost criminal to admit it to your friends or family; they might tend to think you went the easy way – and well, you did, but hey, look at the result! Be proud of yourself! From the beginning to the end, it’s an hour of your time that you’re going to dedicate to this dish, overnight marinating time apart.
This dish’s cooking directions are a bit special as they are organized in 3 parts: marinating, pre-cooking, and cooking.
Marinating is fairly easy. In a big salad bowl, mince onion and garlic, add salt and lemon slices, put the chicken thighs and cover up with clear water. Film up and refrigerate overnight (at best). The pictures just above show the pre-cooking step. In a pan with a little tiny bit of oil, cook the chicken thighs bone-in and skin-on, starting with the skin-on face down. This will allow the fat to quickly drip in your pan and create a flavorful base for your cooking juices. Boil about a cup and a half of water with a cube to make chicken stock in a saucepan. When it’s time to get the rice ready, use uncooked rice, cook for one minute until it turns translucent, and then add some marinade water. Now that last one is the real cooking step of my recipe: immediately put the chicken thighs on top of the rice, add the stock and some marinade water again, and let simmer. The chicken will finish cooking in the pot, and will continue dripping its juices onto the rice.
The whole point of this recipe is not only to cook a very flavorsome chicken but also to eat a perfect rice with both interesting flavors AND aromas, so you can enjoy it with both your palate and nostrils! When my husbands, my friends and myself had this dish last night, we first looked and said “wow, nice chicken color!”, then we tasted and went all “wow, the rice is absolutely sensational!” and forgot it all about the chicken. how surprising is that?!
For chicken and the marinade
- 2 Chicken thighs per person (total of 10 pieces for this recipe)
- lemon slices
- 1 onion, minced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- water to cover up
For the rice
- 1 tbsp of oil to cook the chicken before the rice
- Your usual quantity of long grain rice for 5 to 8 persons
- a handful of fresh parsley
- salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 cup of chicken stock or chicken broth
- In a pan with a little tiny bit of oil, cook the chicken thighs bone-in and skin-on, starting with the skin-on face down. This will allow the fat to quickly drip in your pan and create a flavorful base for your cooking juices. The chicken thighs must be cooked a few minutes on each side until they’re crispy and golden brown as shown above.
- Reserve the marinade.
- While this is cooking up, boil about a cup and a half of water with a cube to make chicken stock in a saucepan.
- When the chicken is cooked through, set aside. Pour the cooking juices of the pan into the broth, and just keep the equivalent of about 2 tbsp of fat in the pan.
- Cook the solids of your marinade in this fat (onions, garlic and lemon) with a bit of the marinade water.
- Top this with uncooked rice, cook for one minute until it turns translucent, and then add more of the marinade water with a few minced parsley leaves (roughly stir in).
- Immediately put the chicken thighs on top of the rice, add salt and pepper, pour a bit of marinade water and cover up totally with the chicken broth.
- Let the dish simmer under a lid on low-medium fire for a total of about 20 to 22 minutes. During the process, you shall use up the whole broth and half of the marinade water, which means you need to check your pan regularly and make sure the rice doesn’t stick to your pan, and pour the remaining stock around 3 times (that will depend on the size of your pan).
- When the rice is ready (taste it), cut some fresh parsley leaves and spread over the rice and chicken.
- Leave the dish at rest in the pan at least 10 minutes before serving.
Before you go, don’t forget to check out my book, Cookbook #1: A French Girl’s Cooking Adventures in Her Kitchen.
Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi, © 2015 All Rights Reserved.