Southern Chicken and Rice: A Delicious Comfort Food Recipe

When it comes to classic comfort food, nothing beats the flavors of Southern chicken and rice. This timeless recipe, reminiscent of the dishes our grandmothers used to make, is packed with slow-cooked goodness that warms the soul. Whether enjoyed on a cool fall day or a cold winter evening, this dish is guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds and bring back cherished memories of family meals.

Southern chicken and rice garnished with parsley in a turquoise Dutch oven.

The Magic Ingredients

The beauty of this recipe lies in its simplicity. You don’t need a long list of ingredients to create a flavorful dish. To make this Southern chicken and rice recipe, you’ll need chicken thighs, olive oil, butter, celery, onion, garlic, dried thyme, dried parsley, long-grain white rice, chicken broth, salt, and pepper.

Cooking Chicken and Rice to Perfection

Wondering how to cook chicken and rice on the stove? It’s easier than you might think. The key is to have a little patience to allow the flavors to develop fully. Start by browning the chicken thighs in an oiled Dutch oven until they turn golden brown and are cooked through.

Next, sauté the celery and onion in butter until the onions become translucent and the celery softens. Add the garlic, thyme, and parsley, and cook until the spices become fragrant.

Chopped celery and onion in a Dutch oven before and after cooking.

Add the rice and toast it for a few minutes before pouring in the chicken broth. Stir everything together, then return the chicken to the pot. Cover with a lid, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it simmer until the rice is perfectly cooked.

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Toasted rice before and after adding chicken broth to cook.

Once the rice is cooked, shred the chicken, fluff the rice, and garnish with fresh parsley. For the full recipe, including ingredient amounts, cooking time, and printable instructions, visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ.

Choosing the Right Chicken

One question that often arises is whether to use bone-in or boneless chicken. While bone-in chicken adds more flavor, it also requires longer cooking times and can be a bit trickier to shred. To keep things simple, boneless skinless chicken thighs are recommended. If you prefer bone-in thighs, be prepared to sauté them for a considerably longer time.

Cooking Times for Chicken

Boneless skinless chicken thighs and chicken breasts need to boil for about 10-15 minutes. The cooking time depends on the size of the meat piece, and the internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165°F as measured by an instant-read meat thermometer. Bone-in chicken will naturally take longer.

Cooking Raw Chicken and Rice Together

Yes, you can cook raw chicken and uncooked rice together to create a perfect one-pot meal. For better flavor, it is advisable to sear the chicken in the pot first to achieve a beautiful browning effect. After the rice is cooked, be sure to check that the chicken is fully cooked by using an instant-read meat thermometer (it should read at least 165°F).

A small dark bowl filled with Southern chicken and rice.

A Healthy and Delicious Meal

Not only is Southern chicken and rice incredibly tasty, but it’s also a healthy one-pot meal that the whole family can enjoy. Packed with protein from the chicken, carbs from the rice, and some added vegetables, this dish is low in fat and sugar.

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Customization Options

Feel free to make some optional adaptations to suit your preferences. You can use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs and even sauté some crumbled sausage with the chicken for added flavor. While this recipe doesn’t rely on canned soups, you can add cream of soup for a creamy rice texture. If you want to include more vegetables, consider adding carrots to bulk up the dish. And for a cheesy twist, stir in some freshly shredded cheese after cooking to create a delightful cheesy rice.

Serving Suggestions

Southern chicken and rice makes for a satisfying main dish that pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Consider serving it with homemade gravy and a side of collard greens. Other great accompaniments include Southern green beans, crockpot green beans with bacon, carrot salad, Italian green beans with breadcrumbs, honey-glazed carrots, and broccoli cranberry salad.

Stay Connected

We would love to hear your thoughts on this recipe! Share your comments or connect with us on Instagram @KeyToMyLime using the hashtag #KeyToMyLime. To save this recipe for later, click here to pin it!

A Pinterest pin image of Southern chicken and rice with title text.

Explore More Chicken Recipes

If you enjoyed this recipe, be sure to explore our extensive collection of chicken recipes. Some reader favorites include chicken and rice meal prep, Cajun chicken pasta, chicken macaroni salad, and melt-in-your-mouth chicken. Find these and more on the Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ website.

Next time you’re craving an easy, wholesome, and delicious one-pot dinner, give this epic Southern chicken and rice recipe a try. Its five-star flavors are sure to impress everyone at the table. Happy cooking!

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