Saffron Rice with Oven-baked Chicken

chicken saffron rice

Wants to enjoy a hearty and luxurious weekend meal with your family! We have an exciting restaurant-style “One Pot Meal” recipe for you that is made with chicken, rice, saffron and some vegetables in a Spanish and Mediterranean style, ready to soothe your palate and fill your appetite at the same time. The best part of this classic Spanish delight is that you do not need to stand in front of the stove to cook for long hours. This dish can be easily prepared in the oven and it hardly takes about 40 minutes to cook.

The dish also does not require any expensive ingredients and most of the contents are easily available in your pantry. However, if you believe that saffron is an overpriced ingredient then let us clear this misconception first. Premium and high-quality saffron might seem to be expensive but you will be amazed to know that most recipes only require a small pinch or 1/4th of a teaspoon to give it a strong flavour, an appetizing earthy aroma and the brightest colour. So, a little quantity can go a long way. The complete list of contents required to make this dish, is given below however, you can always play with different ingredients according to your choice and preferences.

Serving size: The recipe yields 2 servings.

One Pot Rice Ingredients

  • Onion (1 medium-sized)
  • Chicken thighs (4 pieces)
  • Garlic cloves (3 pieces)
  • Rice (1 cup)
  • Chicken Stock (2 cups)
  • Frozen Peas (1/4 cup)
  • Premium Saffron strands (1 small pinch, 0.5 grams)
  • Green Olives (1/4 cup)
  • Parsley (1 tablespoon)
  • Smoked sweet paprika (1/4 teaspoon)
  • Hot Paprika
  • Cooking oil or Ghee (4 tablespoons)
  • Freshly ground Black pepper for seasoning
  • Table salt or sea salt (as per taste)
  • Garlic Powder (1 teaspoon)

Preparation of Chicken saffron rice 

  1. Finely chop 3 garlic cloves and one medium size onion. Remove the outermost skin and the innermost core. The reason is that if the core is green then it would be a bit bitter. Also, these parts are hard to cook so it is better to remove them.
  2. Cut the green olives into halves. You can choose any olives of your choice.
  3. Now it is time to chop some parsley. Do not forget to wash it properly before cutting as it cannot be washed once it is chopped. Remove the leaves from the stalks. Stack them over one another and use a knife to roughly chop them.
  4. Freshly ground black pepper to have a better flavour.
  5. Rinse rice until the water seems to be cleared. Soak rice for almost 10 to 15 minutes and then strain the water before cooking.
  6. Prepare the chicken thighs in a bowl by rubbing some salt, freshly ground pepper, smoked sweet and hot paprika, and garlic powder all over it. Now cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Cooking Instructions

  • Take an oven-proof pan or skillet and pour some ghee or cooking oil into it. Set the heat to medium-high and the seasoned chicken thighs to it. Toss and cook it for about 4 minutes or until you get a golden brown colour on each side of the chicken.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan. Now you need one tablespoon of oil in your pan so remove or discard the rest.
  • In one tablespoon of oil, saute one chopped onion for about 5 minutes. Wait until the pieces become translucent.
  • On a separate stove pour some stock into a pan and wait until it becomes warm. At this stage, add a small pinch of saffron to it and let it steep for a few minutes. This will allow the saffron to release its beautiful colour and flavour into the stock.
  • After cooking onions for 5 minutes, add chopped garlic into it and cook it for one more minute. In the meantime, heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add rice into the pan along with the stock. Give everything a good gentle stir. Make sure it is well-mixed.
  • Now place the chicken on top of the mixture and put the skillet into the preheated oven. Bake it for about 25 to 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the rice completely absorbs the stock.
  • After about half an hour, take the pan out of the oven and add olives and frozen peas into the rice. Cover it with a lid and wait for about 10 minutes to soften the peas.
  • Once it is done, remove the lid and sprinkle freshly chopped parsley on top. Buen Provecho!

Some useful tips

  1. You can replace peas with canned beans, and olives with mushrooms.
  2. To enjoy the best flavour, always use good quality stock.
  3. You can use any kind of rice but to experience the goodness and texture of Mediterranean cuisine, try to use small grain rice.

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