One Pot Stovetop Chicken & Rice

One Pot Stovetop Chicken and Rice is creamy comfort food that’s a breeze to whip up!  For complementary color and flavor, serve with sliced tomatoes or a simple salad on the side.

One Pot Stovetop Chicken & Rice is creamy comfort food that’s a breeze to whip up!  For complementary color and flavor, I like to serve sliced tomatoes or a simple salad on the side.

 

If I were to choose one dish that instantly transports me to my childhood dinner table, it would be my mom’s chicken and rice.  Creamy and decadently delicious, it was a regular on the weekly dinner rotation and a family favorite for sure.

Delicious though it was, the recipe relied on two cans of cream soup and a packet of dried onion soup mix.  Somewhere along the way, someone dialed into how much sodium and fat we were ingesting with every mouth-watering bite, and the much-loved casserole made less frequent appearances.

Beyond the great taste, my mom always appreciated the ease and convenience of this all-in-one meal. The prep time was quick and the cooking was mostly hands-off.

One Pot Stovetop Chicken and Rice is creamy comfort food that’s a breeze to whip up!  For complementary color and flavor, serve with sliced tomatoes or a simple salad on the side.

So on Mother’s Day, in the spirit of busy moms and hungry (sometimes picky) kids everywhere, I’m sharing a modern-day version of my mom’s chicken and rice.

Unlike the casserole that Mom made when I was little, this version is cooked on the stovetop in less than 30 minutes instead of baked in the oven for an hour.  Whereas Mom’s casserole owed its creaminess to two cans of cream soup, the following rendition relies on milk and a reasonable amount of cheese.  It may not be quite as decadent, but it’s proved to be a hit with my extended family, including my young nieces.

One Pot Stovetop Chicken and Rice is creamy comfort food that’s a breeze to whip up!  For complementary color and flavor, serve with sliced tomatoes or a simple salad on the side.

For its ease of preparation and family friendly appeal, this meal has made my regular rotation—which says a lot given the nature of my job!

One Pot Stovetop Chicken and Rice is creamy comfort food that’s a breeze to whip up!  For complementary color and flavor, serve with sliced tomatoes or a simple salad on the side.

One Pot Stovetop Chicken & Rice
Yield: 4-6 servings
Creamy comfort food that’s a breeze to whip up!  For complementary color and flavor, I like to serve sliced tomatoes or a simple salad on the side.
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon fresh)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided use, and fresh black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups (270 grams) long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups 2% milk (could use whole milk)*
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces**
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas (I slightly round the cup because we like peas)
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided use
Instructions

Melt the butter over medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven.  Add the onion, thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and sauté until the onion is soft and lightly golden, about 8 minutes.

Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it smells toasted and you see some hints of golden color, about a minute or two. Add the broth, milk, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and season with pepper to taste. (I use about 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and deglaze the pan, incorporating any crusty bits, as I add the liquids.)

Raise the heat to bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally so the rice doesn’t stick to the pot.  Add the chicken, stir to combine, and bring back to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.***

Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the peas and 1 cup of the cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese (feel free to use a half cup on top if you love cheese!), then cover again and rest for 5 minutes to melt the cheese and steam the rice, about 5 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Notes & Tips

*If you’re not a regular milk user and prefer not to have a lot of extra in the fridge, some grocery stores and most Turkey Hills sell 16-ounce bottles that are just the right size.  Additionally, if you’re running short on milk, you can make up for up to a half cup of it by using more broth.

**I have used breast meat but the end result is slightly drier and tougher compared to the thigh meat.  Also, the chicken does add flavor to the rice as it cooks, but if you have leftover cooked or rotisserie chicken, you could stir it in at the end.

***You can add water or extra broth if the rice absorbs all the liquid before tender.  Conversely, I find the mixture to be slightly soupy after 15 minutes (the former can occur if the rice is measured somewhat liberally), which is good, as the rice will continue to absorb the liquid over the next 5 minutes or so.  Just make sure the rice is tender before the pot is removed from the heat.

If you’d like a browned top on the casserole, you can place the pot (as long as it’s oven-proof) under the broiler for a few minutes, watching very closely so as not to burn.

Leftovers, which are delicious when rewarmed, can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Why not brown rice? Brown rice increases the cooking time two-fold or more, risking overcooked chicken and the need for more liquid.  If you’d like to experiment with a brown rice version, I’d recommend stirring in cooked meat at the end and adding more broth as needed.

 

The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Carolyn

    Thanks for this recipe and your helpful comments, Ann! Actually I would like to try it with brown rice and rotisserie chicken added towards the end. Appreciate you mentioning that option.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      My pleasure, Carolyn. If you think to comment after you’ve tried, I’d love to know your thoughts on that option!

      Reply
      1. Carolyn

        Ann, yesterday I used this recipe, substituting brown rice and adding rotisserie chicken near the end of the recipe. It was delicious, but I agree using brown rice almost tripled the cooking time. Probably worth using the long-grain white rice!

        Reply
        1. Ann Post author

          I’m delighted you enjoyed this and appreciate your follow up. I’ve decided that white rice has it’s place, and this may be one of them!

          Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I use uncooked chicken, Doris. In the notes section, I mention the option of adding cooked chicken at the end, so I will clarify the recipe to avoid any confusion. Thanks for your comment and glad you enjoy my recipes!

      Reply
  2. Joan Post author

    I made the chicken, rice and peas and it was a hit -(a surprise since my family does not like peas)- so big a hit, I made another and took it to a post op friend. Have also made the St. Patricks Day soup about four times and that was really a big hit. I always look forward to your recipes. Thanks so much.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Thanks for your wonderful feedback, Joan. I’m thrilled you’ve had repeated success with several recipes!

      Reply
  3. Lori Post author

    I made this last night and added a little garlic powder for an extra burst of flavor. Very easy and very good!

    Reply
  4. Sandy Post author

    This was so easy and truly delicious! Next time I make this I’m going to brown the meat first so I can deglaze the pan and add cayenne pepper for a little something extra!

    Reply
  5. Lori

    This was the perfect post-surgery comfort dinner for my hubby and the kids loved it too! I did salt and pepper the chicken before adding to the pot. Also, if you don’t love dark meat, this recipe would be great with some shredded rotisserie/white meat cooked chicken! Yum!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Thanks for taking a moment to comment, Lori. I’m delighted that everyone enjoyed and send speedy recovery wishes to your husband!

      Reply
  6. GInny Post author

    We loved it. I made it for supper last night. It was easy and so good! Thanks for all the great recipes. I had some river rice around here and that worked fine. The bag said medium grain. We had it with some fresh asparagus.

    I usually use chicken breast in my recipes, but took your suggestion and bought boneless, skinless thighs – good idea. Also liked your hint about buying 2% milk in pints because we buy almond milk for our oatmeal. That way I don’t have leftover cow’s milk around here which usually goes to waste.

    Thanks again; you think of everything!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Ginny, I’m so happy this was a hit and that you found the tips to be helpful. (I don’t like to waste anything either!) I’m glad you’ve enjoyed some of my other recipes, as well, and I truly appreciate your thoughtful feedback!

      Reply