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Dirty Rice Chicken Skillet

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Dirty Rice Chicken Skillet is a mouthwatering complete meal that will be a hit with your family. Use a cast-iron skillet that goes from stovetop to oven to table, and this dish is perfect for meal prep lunches for the week

overhead shot of finished product in skillet

I’ve always been a die-hard dark meat chicken girl, and I don’t recall my parents ever cooking with white meat. The few times I had chicken breast at restaurants, it was too dry for my tastes.

Two years ago I created my only white meat recipe on the blog, Citrus Marinated Grilled Chicken Sandwich. I marinate it for hours, and it stays so nice and tender. Everything else on the blog calls for dark meat chicken. Maple Mustard Garlic Sheet Pan Chicken is one of my favorites, especially for leftovers. And Chicken Chickpea Salad is my go-to light lunch when I can’t decide what to make.

My parents are from Trinidad, and Pelau is a traditional dish I grew up eating. It’s a delicious one-pot meal, with chicken and rice as the main ingredients. I never learned to make it, and to this day I keep forgetting to ask my mom for the recipe. So in the meantime, I created my own chicken and rice dish, Dirty Rice Chicken Skillet

WHY I LOVE THIS RECIPE:
  • It’s a one-pot meal, using a Cast Iron Skillet that goes from stovetop to oven to table
  • You get a complete, gluten-free meal 
  • It is great for leftovers
overhead shot of finished product in skillet

No, Dirty Rice Chicken Skillet isn’t traditional dirty rice. But it has that same “dirty” look…bits of seasoning from searing the chicken transfers to the vegetables and rice. This is all a good thing, because seasoning = flavor.

INGREDIENTS IN DIRTY RICE CHICKEN SKILLET
  • Bone-in, skin-on chicken
  • Long Grain White Rice
  • Vegetables – onion, celery, carrots, garlic, asparagus, frozen peas
  • Avocado Oil 
  • Chicken Broth 
  • Seasoning: salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley and paprika
INGREDIENT TIPS FOR DIRTY RICE CHICKEN SKILLET

DO NOT WASH RAW CHICKEN! Splashing water from the tap can get onto your hands, work surface, cooking materials, etc.

Use dark meat, bone-in, skin-on chicken. It stays more tender and juicy and has more iron, zinc, and Vitamins B6 and B12 than white meat. And you can easily remove the skin before eating.

Regular store-bought broth has very high sodium, so look for no-salt-added broth. Or, use homemade

Use long-grain white rice. Brown rice requires a much longer cooking time, and the chicken will overcook.

Switch up the vegetables! Use green beans or broccoli instead of asparagus, or add baby portobello mushrooms

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

Combine all the seasoning ingredients, and generously season both sides of the chicken.

overhead shots of seasoning mix, seasoned chicken legs

Sear the chicken on both sides in avocado oil. Make sure the oil is hot before adding the chicken, otherwise the chicken will absorb the oil.

Remove the chicken, and set aside. There will be bits of seasoning stuck to the skillet…that’s okay!

ovehead shots of chicken searing in skillet, and empty skillet with bits stuck to bottom

Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to the skillet and saute for a few minutes. Stir occasionally, to scrape up the bits stuck to the skillet.

Add asparagus and frozen peas, and stir to combine.

overhead shots of vegetables in skillet

Add rice, and stir to combine. Spread mixture evenly in skillet.

overhead shots of rice added to skillet, mixed into vegetable combination

Pour broth on the rice, just enough that it just covers the rice mixture. Place chicken on top.

overhead shots of broth added to skillet, chicken legs placed on top of rice mixture
COOKING TIME, SERVINGS, AND LEFTOVERS

Dirty Rice Chicken Skillet is done when the liquid is fully absorbed. For the recipe as-is, I use a 10.5″ skillet and bake for 45 minutes. For half the recipe, I use an 8″ skillet and bake for 35 minutes. Every oven is different, so your cooking time may vary slightly.

The number of servings depends on how hungry you are! I’ll make and enjoy a half portion as a hearty dinner. Or, I’ll start with a salad and only eat 1/4 portion.

I don’t normally do leftovers, but this is one of my few exceptions. It’s also great for meal prep…divide Dirty Rice Chicken Skillet into portions, store in airtight containers in the fridge, and you have lunch for a week. And, the rice is so delicious on its own, served cold.

overhead shot of chicken and rice, plated
MORE DELICIOUS CHICKEN RECIPES
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overhead shot of finished product in skillet

Dirty Rice Chicken Skillet

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Dirty Rice Chicken Skillet is a mouthwatering complete meal that will be a hit with your family. Use a cast-iron skillet that goes from stovetop to oven to table, and this dish is perfect for meal prep lunches for the week

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken drumsticks, skin-on
  • 1 Tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 12 spears asparagus, hard ends removed, sliced into pieces
  • 1/2 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (no-salt-added or low sodium)

CHICKEN SEASONING

  • 1 teaspoon fresh-cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Add seasoning ingredients into a bowl and combine well. Season chicken pieces generously, and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Melt avocado oil in cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and sear for 3 minutes per side. Remove chicken and set aside. If there is excess seasoning left in the skillet, remove and discard
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low Add onion, celery, carrots, and garlic, and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in peas and asparagus, and mix together
  5. Add rice to skillet, mix well, and spread mixture into one layer in skillet. Pour broth over rice. Broth should just cover mixture. Place chicken pieces on top of rice mixture
  6. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until liquid is absorbed

Notes

DO NOT WASH RAW CHICKEN! You can actually spread bacteria by doing so. Splashing water from the tap can get onto your hands, work surface, cooking materials, etc.

I recommend a cast iron skillet, as it goes from stovetop to oven to table

Dark meat, bone-in, skin-on chicken will give you the best results

If you use store-bought broth, look for one with no salt added

Use long-grain white rice. Brown rice requires a much longer cooking time, and the chicken will overcook

COOKING TIME, SERVINGS, AND LEFTOVERS

Dirty Rice Chicken Skillet is done when the liquid is fully absorbed. For the recipe as-is, I use a 10.5″ skillet and bake for 45 minutes. For half the recipe, I use an 8″ skillet and bake for 35 minutes. Every oven is different, so your cooking time may vary slightly.

The number of servings depends on how hungry you are! Half portion is a hearty dinner. Or start with a salad, and eat 1/4 portion.

This recipe is perfect for leftovers. Divide Dirty Rice Chicken Skillet into portions, store in airtight containers in the fridge, and you have lunch for a week. And, the rice is so delicious on its own, served cold.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 583Saturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 139mgSodium: 1402mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 35g
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