One pan Mediterranean chicken with rice.

I’ve been wanting to try out a one pan chicken and rice dish for so long, and what I had in mind was inspired by a paella but was even less effort, and I was after the kind of midweek meal that ticks all the boxes. Classic Mediterranean flavours have been something I’m stuck on, especially since being in Croatia again, so the lemon and garlic flavour base in this dish is exactly what I needed.

The asparagus was something I happened to have in the fridge, and if I’d had some preserved lemon I would have swapped that for the lemon zest. The thigh cutlets could be swapped for fillets but reduce the cooking time accordingly. Some prawns thrown on top in the last five minutes would also work well, as would some leafy greens. Peas folded through with the rice would be great too. If you have any leftovers shred the chicken through the rice and you’ve got a delicious rice salad for lunch the next day.

What you need:

  • chicken thigh cutlets on the bone
  • S & P
  • smoked paprika
  • dried oregano
  • EVOO
  • fresh lemon juice from 1 or 2 lemons
  • a few garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
  • 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup of long grain or basmati rice
  • a handful of olives
  • 2 bunches of asparagus
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • lemon zest

What to do:

  • Season the chicken fillets with the salt and pepper, paprika, and a little of the dried oregano. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan or shallow casserole dish {one that you can cook, bake, and serve in}, and brown the chicken on both sides. When all the chicken is browned return to the pan and remove from heat.
  • Pour the fresh lemon juice over the chicken and sprinkle with the garlic. Cover and set aside for about half an hour. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
  • After the chicken has marinated pour in the stock and sprinkle the rice into the pan, making sure it’s evenly distributed around the chicken pieces. Cover with either foil or a well fitting lid and bake for thirty minutes.
  • Add the asparagus and olives and return to the oven uncovered for another five minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with the parsley just before serving.

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