If you look in your pantry/fridge right now will you see carrots, onions, rice, and chicken? If you do, I have the perfect 30 minute from start to finish recipe. This simple and delicious one pot chicken and rice dish is a must try for your family and I am sure will become a staple weeknight meal. It is my favorite weeknight meal to prepare because it is super quick and well balanced, so I am happy serving this with a side of veggies or just as it is.
Tell me about it:
It is also fantastic for baby led weaning but be sure to pull the chicken well so babies can easily chew. I will warn you; it can get messy when babies eat but it’s worth it. When we have leftovers, I often convert this chicken and rice dish into patties. I take leftover rice and chicken add grated white cheddar cheese and one egg, mix and form into patties and fry up for a few minutes on each side. My kids love it and it is a great handheld lunch or dinner the next day.
What you will need:
Chicken – I use skinless boneless chicken breast, but you can certainly use drumsticks or chicken thighs. My family prefers white meat, but dark meat will be even softer for our baby led weaning families. When my boys were little, I used 5 chicken drumsticks (skin off). The bones gave the rice even more flavor than the chicken breast does so whatever you have on hand you can use. I also like to remove the skin regardless of what part of the chicken I am using because it makes for a cleaner broth.
Onion and carrots – One medium onion diced. Sauté the onions in one tablespoon of oil before adding the other ingredients and this is the first step in building flavor. Grate the carrots finely so once cooked they blend in with the rice.
Basmati Rice – I recommend using basmati rice for this dish, but I am sure you can substitute. Rince one cup of rice thoroughly and throw it into the pot of chicken and vegetables.
Oils and seasoning – I use about two tablespoons of olive oil or good quality vegetable oil (grapeseed oil). First tablespoon goes in with the onions and the second one when adding chicken to brown lightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can add a bay leaf here for additional earthy flavor but that is optional.
How to make it:
- Start off by preparing all your ingredients, this helps speed up the cooking process. Wash, peel, and grate carrots and set aside. Do the same with the onion. Prepare the rice by rinsing one cup in a colander, this gets some of the starch out.
- In a Dutch oven or pot, add your diced onion with one tablespoon of oil and sauté on medium for a few minutes.
- Add raw chicken chunks and cook until browned, about 5-6 minutes of cooking. Add second tablespoon of oil if needed.
- Add grated carrots, stir and after a few minutes add in rinsed rice.
- Mix everything well and add 3-4 cups of water. Your rice should be covered in water – don’t over fill, it will turn into soup.
- Simmer on low for 15-20 minutes checking in and mixing every five or so minutes.
- Use a fork to fluff the rice and its ready to serve.
Pro Tips and Tricks:
- You can peel and dice the onion the day before and keep in an airtight container.
- Wash, peel and grate the carrot up to a day before and keep in an airtight container.
- What to do with leftovers? You can reheat in a pan with a splash of water or you can convert these into handheld patties.
- How do you make rice patties? Take the rice and chicken add grated white cheddar cheese and one egg. Mix until well combined. In a pan add oil. Once warmed up mold mixture into circular patties and place in pan, fry for a few minutes per side until golden brown.
- You can use chicken breast either bone in or out, drumsticks or chicken thighs. I typically like to remove the skin, but you can keep it if your family enjoys.