One Pot Stovetop Chicken & Rice
Yield: 4-6 servings
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
  1. 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.

 

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