Quick & easy weeknight dinners are my favorite! This one-pot lemony chicken and rice is loaded with Greek flavors and comes together in under an hour. This is a perfect meal for busy weeknights and flavorful enough for a dinner party. Taste it and see!
Lemony roasted chicken and potatoes is a Greek classic and one of my favorite recipes. I make it for dinner often and you can grab that recipe here. It’s roasted in the oven a little over an hour, all in one pan, and you end up with the most tender and flavorful chicken ever. This chicken and rice is just as delicious. Juicy and tender chicken is cooked in a cast-iron skillet (you may use your favorite pot) and then Basmati rice is added and cooked to perfection. The chicken and the rice are full of zesty lemon and oregano flavor. I also like to add some roasted red pepper for a pop of color and even more flavor. You can add frozen green peas or your favorite veggies to this if you’d like.
This lemony chicken and rice pilaf is perfect for those busy weeknights. One-pot (or pan, or skillet, lol) to clean, ready in under an hour, and just a few minutes of prep. You can’t beat that! I hope you enjoy this one as much as we do!
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- 2 pounds (about 5 pieces) chicken thighs, bone-in, and skin removed
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 and 1.2 cups basmati rice
- 1 and ½ cups of chicken broth or water
- 1 and ½ teaspoon salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1-2 roasted red peppers, diced
- 4-5 olives, pitted and sliced
For the Marinade:
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4-5 garlic cloves, grated
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- lemon slices and chopped parsley
- Make the marinade:
- Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, and grated garlic in a small bowl. Add the oregano and whisk together until combined.
- Place the chicken thighs in a bowl or on a tray. Pour the marinade over the chicken and season with salt, pepper, and cumin powder. Toss to coat all around. Set aside.
- The chicken can be stored in the refrigerator (in an airtight container overnight for maximum flavor). If marinating overnight, allow the chicken to come to room temperature before cooking.
- Make the dish:
- Place the rice in a large bowl and rinse with cold water, changing the water 3-4 times until it is clear. Cover with cold water and let the rice soak at least 15 minutes.
- Place a large (12-inch round) cast-iron skillet or a Dutch oven pot over medium heat. Add 2-3 tablespoons of oil in the skillet. Place the chicken in the skillet and reserve the marinade for later. (it will be used to flavor the rice)
- Brown the chicken 4-5 minutes on each side. Set aside on a plate. If there are too many burned bits in the pan, wipe it clean before cooking the onions.
- Place the chopped onions with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet and cook over medium heat until soft and golden. About 10 minutes.
- Add the grated garlic and warm through about 30 seconds taking care not to burn it.
- Drain the water from the rice and add the rice to the skillet.
- Add the red peppers, olives, broth, salt, pepper, and leftover marinade from the chicken. Add 2-4 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to make it as lemony as desired. Place the chicken in the skillet.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pan with a lid. Simmer 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
- Fluff the rice with a fork and garnish with chopped parsley.
- Serve with sliced lemons, a green salad and tzatziki sauce. Enjoy!