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The simplest stove top chicken and rice (30 minute meal)

The simplest stove top chicken and rice (30 minute meal)

Everyone needs the simplest of simple chicken and rice recipes in their weekly meal rotation! This is the simplest stove top chicken and rice recipe you can imagine, but it still has LOTS of flavour, thanks to a few simple tricks and a secret ingredient… saffron! Ready in just 30 minutes!
4.5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Cuisine American
Servings (click to change) 6
Author Helen

Equipment (affiliate links)


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil for cooking
  • 1 onion (large) chopped
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs bone in, skin taken off
  • 1.5 cups rice I used jasmine but any is OK really
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth UK / Australia – stock
  • 0.5 cups white wine optional – replace with more broth or water if you prefer
  • 0.5 cups water
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 0.5 bunches parsley chopped


  • Heat the oil in a large pan with a lid (I used a cast iron pan like the one above) and cook the onion for a few minutes until softened.
  • Add the chicken and brown for a couple of minutes on each side (optional).
  • Remove the chicken from the pan to a plate (if you decided to brown it), then add the rice to the onions left in the pan. Stir to moisten the grains of rice.
  • Nestle the chicken back in with the rice / onions, then grind over plenty of salt and pepper.
  • Pour the chicken broth / stock, white wine (if using) and water over the chicken and rice. Sprinkle in the saffron, then put the lid on the pot and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until the rice is cooked and most of the cooking liquid has been absorbed.
  • Season again to taste and serve sprinkled with the fresh parsley.


Recipe based on this simple chicken and rice recipe in the New York Times.

A note on the chicken

It's best to use skin off bone in thighs for this recipe. You can buy them like that in supermarkets in Australia, but if you can't find them where you live go to a butcher and ask them to take the skin off for you.

A note on adapting the recipe to make it yours!

This recipe is highly adaptable. Skip the wine if you like (replace with more broth or water) and add other flavours with the onions e.g. chorizo slices, Italian herbs, red or green bell peppers, mushrooms, curry powder, paprika (skip the saffron if you choose curry powder though).

A note on the cooking time

I usually cook my chicken and rice for about 25 minutes, but the cooking time will depend on the rice, stovetop and pan you use. Just have the confidence to cook until the rice tastes done and most of the cooking liquid has been absorbed.


Calories: 589kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 28gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 148mgSodium: 408mgPotassium: 466mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 145IUVitamin C: 7.3mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 1.7mg
Tried this recipe?Let me know if you liked it!