Something between a pulao and a biryani, this one pot chicken and rice is my favourite way to get a comforting weekend lunch ready. My husband and I absolutely love this recipe and we end up eating it on almost every alternate Sunday. We usually eat non-vegetarian food on the weekend and this one pot chicken and rice recipe is one of our favourite ways to enjoy chicken and rice together. The chicken is juicy from the marination and slow cooking, and the rice is so flavourful, you won’t be able to stop eating it. We pair this with cucumber and onion salad, and some fresh raita.
Ingredients in this One Pot Chicken and Rice
The ingredients in this recipe are simple pantry staples that an Indian kitchen always has. We marinate the chicken first in a yogurt and spice mix, and then go on to cook it in the pot. In the same pot, we temper the rice with whole spices and caramelised onions, and let it all come together in the end with slow cooking.
I love using boneless chicken thighs in this recipe as it remains juicy till the end and does not dry up unlike chicken breast. Though chicken breast also does not dry up if cooked the right way. For the rice, I have used long-grained basmati rice. But you can use any white rice. Long-grain rice needs to be soaked for 30 minutes and flushed of all the excess starch to get beautiful, light and separate grains in the end.
For the marination, I have used hung curd (you can use regular thick curd) mixed with pantry staple spices like cumin, black pepper, coriander, salt and red chilli powder. Fresh ginger and garlic paste adds that extra bout of flavour to this dish which goes into the marination. The chicken needs to marinate for atleast one hour to get the maximum flavour.
Another delicious part of this one pot chicken rice are the caramelized onions that go into it. I don’t cook them till they melt. the final recipe has onions with a slight bite in them. The onions mix with the leftover marination remains in the pan – for which they need some water to help deglaze the pan.
If you are making this one pot chicken and rice, make sure you use a pot or pan with a strong base and you’d need a heavy duty vessel for this. I usually make this in my Meyer pan with a glass lid. Works beautifully for all one-pot dishes.
Let’s take a look at the recipe.
Preparation time – 1.45 hours (including marination)
Cook time – 35- 40 minutes
Serves – 4
For the chicken marination:
- 500 g boneless chicken thighs, washed and patted dry with a paper towel
- 1/2 cup hung curd/thick curd
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- 1 tbsp red chilli powder
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 1 tbsp garlic paste
- 1 tbsp salt (or as required)
For the recipe:
- 1.5 cups basmati rice, washed and soaked for 30 minutes
- 1/4 cup oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cardamoms
- 2 cloves
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 4 medium onions, sliced
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1/4 cup water to deglaze the pan
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp garam masala
- A handful of fresh mint and coriander leaves, finely chopped
- 2 cups water
- Clean and pat dry the boneless chicken thigh pieces.
- Whisk hung curd in a bowl. Add the spices to it – salt, cumin, coriander, red chilli and black pepper powder. Add fresh ginger and garlic paste. Mix everything well and add the chicken pieces to it.
- Coat the chicken pieces in the curd mix well. Cover and marinate for an hour.
- Wash rice thoroughly under running water till it starts to run clean. Once done, soak the rice in water for 30 minutes.
- Heat oil in a pan. Add the marinated chicken pieces and cook. Flip the pieces from time to time and let it turn brown. The chicken has to be 80-90% cooked in this stage before you take it out.
- Once the chicken is done, temper the same pan with whole spices – cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon stick and a bay leaf. Give it a light stir till it turns aromatic.
- Add onions to the same pan and cook on medium flame till they start to turn transparent.
- Once the onions are slightly brown, add some water to deglaze the pan. Cook the onions for another 5 minutes.
- Add the soaked rice to this along with some salt. Mix the rice gently with the onions.
- Pour water into the pan and place the chicken pieces on top.
- Cover and cook on low flame for 20 – 25 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and take the lid off. Sprinkle garam masala on top, along with freshly chopped mint and coriander leaves.
- Cover and let it rest for another 10 minutes.
- Enjoy hot with some raw onions, cucumber and raita.
I hope you try this one pot chicken and rice recipe super soon. If you have any doubts, comments, or feedback, please reach out to me in comments or my social media handles.
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