A complete and delicious meal of lemon chicken and vegetable studded rice
For us, this is the ultimate comfort food; a meal where the ingredients cook together slowly so that the flavours meld and develop, while you sit back and spend quality time with family and friends as things get perfect in the oven. This oven-baked chicken and rice dish is that kind of food. Although there is some active stove top work to do before you can pop everything into the oven and forget it, the work is minimal, and easy. The result, is most definitely worth it.
The ingredients in this dish are simple, and likely things that you already have in your fridge and pantry. Because chicken tends to be readily available, and inexpensive compared to some other proteins, it is also a great meal to feed a crowd. Leftovers of this oven-baked chicken and rice also make a perfect take along lunch.
As with most of our recipes, simple ingredients mean that it is really important that they be the best quality ingredients you can find and afford. When possible, purchase organic chicken, pure olive oil, and the freshest vegetables.
Frying the chicken in the olive oil is not meant to cook it through; it is done to brown the skin a little bit and add flavour.
Total cooking time may vary, depending upon the rice that you use. We suggest that you check your meal after about 45 – 50 minutes. Your meal is ready when the chicken is fully cooked and the liquid all absorbed, leaving you with fluffy and delicious rice.
Mia Kouppa: Oven-baked chicken and rice
- 1 whole chicken
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 3/4 cup diced carrot
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1 1/2 cup long grain rice
- 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- lemon, sliced into rounds
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Butcher your chicken to give you 8 serving pieces; you should end up with 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 wings and 2 breasts. If your chicken breasts are large, you can cut them in half and therefore end up with a total of 10 pieces. Remove any excess fat, but leave the skin on the chicken. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt and oregano evenly over your chicken and set aside.
- In a deep frying pan heat 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium heat. Add your chicken to the pan and begin frying it. Do not overcrowd your pan as this will reduce the heat; it is better to fry your chicken in two batches if your pan is not large enough to fit it all in at once.
- Fry your chicken for approximately 5 – 7 minutes per side, until golden brown. As your chicken cooks, place it on a platter and set aside. When all of the chicken has been browned, pour the lemon juice over it to coat all the pieces.
- In the same oil in which you fried the chicken, fry over medium heat the onion, celery, carrots, parsley and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for approximately 3 – 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir well.
- Pour the contents of the pan, including any oil, into a large oven safe casserole dish. Add the chicken stock, water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, ground black pepper, oregano, chili flakes and cinnamon, if you’re using it. Stir well. Set the chicken pieces on top of the rice and pour in any juices which collected on the plate. Place the lemon slices randomly over the chicken. Cover and cook in the middle rack of your oven for 50 – 60 minutes, until the rice is done and the liquid has been absorbed.
- Serve warm. Enjoy!