chickenriceHere is another one from my “Don’t Sweat the Cooking” series. Let’s call this chicken-rice skillet my “small paella.” Far from cooking up mollusks, snails and rabbit thighs in clam juice with expensive saffron, I found my own home-cooked recipe. It is made with ingredients that I mostly keep in the freezer or pantry. My mini-paella is quick to prepare and tastes great. Try it out sometime. Cooking time: ca. 45 minutes.

chickenrice2Main Ingredients:

  • 4–6 chicken thighs (legs), skin on
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups water

Spices for rub: as you like it.
Use salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, basil, rosemary for a Mediterranean flavor.
OR: chile, a dash of coriander, with garlic, salt and pepper, and cilantro.
OR: barbecue or other spice mix of your choice

chickenrice4Other Ingredients:
1 medium sized onion
(1 jalapeño, finely diced)
1 cup small frozen vegetables
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cup cashews or almonds (optional)

For oriental flavor:
1 inch ginger, finely cut
chickenrice31 clove of garlic
1 Tbs sesame oil
3 Tbs soy sauce
8 stalks cilantro


  • Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet/pan on low-medium heat. Rub the chicken pieces with your favorite spices. Brown the chicken on both sides (ca. 5-7 minutes each side) to a nice color.
  • In the meantime, dice the onion (jalapeño, bell pepper) into small cubes.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside on a plate.
  • Add the onions and peppers to the pan and cook until glazed, ca. 5 minutes. (Add  the nuts at this stage. OR add the diced ginger for the Oriental twist)
  • (Deglaze the onion/peppers with a shot of tequila, brandy, or wine, if you like.)
  • Add the washed rice to the pan; roast and stir for 5 minutes.
  • Add 2 cups of water, frozen vegetables, (raisins/craisins, cilantro) and let this “soup” come to a boil.
  • Put the chicken pieces back into the pan, cover the pan with a lid, and let this simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.


Serve the chicken-rice skillet with a nice side salad and garlic toast. Bon apetit!

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