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!
Course Easy mid-week meal
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 589 kcal
Author Helen


  • 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
US Customary - Metric


  1. 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.

  2. Add the chicken and brown for a couple of minutes on each side (optional).
  3. 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.
  4. Nestle the chicken back in with the rice / onions, then grind over plenty of salt and pepper.
  5. 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.
  6. Season again to taste and serve sprinkled with the fresh parsley.

Recipe Notes

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

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.

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).

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.

Nutrition Facts
The simplest stove top chicken and rice (30 minute meal)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 589 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Fat 32g49%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Cholesterol 148mg49%
Sodium 408mg17%
Potassium 466mg13%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 28g56%
Vitamin A 145IU3%
Vitamin C 7.3mg9%
Calcium 36mg4%
Iron 1.7mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.