This One-Pot Chicken and Rice Recipe is an easy, comforting, home-cooked meal made with juicy marinated chicken thighs cooked atop fluffy long-grain rice with green and black olives, artichoke hearts, lemon, and fresh herbs. Dinner doesn’t get much better than this!
One-Pot Chicken and Rice Recipe with Olives
This one-pot chicken and rice is an easy and comforting family dinner made entirely in one pan. Packed full of incredible lemon and herb flavors, it’s perfect for busy weeknights (leftovers are fantastic!) and weekend entertaining.
Inspired by my recent grove tour with California Ripe Olives and my ever-growing hate for dishes, this amazing recipe turned out even better than I could have imagined.
There are several reasons why this dish tastes fantastic from the olives to the artichokes, crispy baked chicken and rice. The secret, however, is that everything gets cooked together. Juices, herbs, and all those other flavors mix and mingle resulting in one magical delicious flavor explosion.
Here’s what you will love about this dish,
- It’s made with simple, pantry-friendly ingredients
- It is a one-pan meal – in other words, the uncooked chicken and uncooked rice are cooked together at the same time
- There are only 20-30 minutes of active prep and cook time, the rest of the time is completely hands-off
- Dishes will include a cutting board, knife, bowl, and large oven-safe skillet. Maybe a spoon or two.
Alright, so who’s ready to get cooking?
RELATED: Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole (without mushroom soup)
One-Pot Chicken and Rice Recipe Ingredients
- Chicken thighs
- Olive oil
- Fresh garlic cloves
- Dried oregano, basil, and Italian seasoning
- Long-grain rice
- California Green Ripe Olives
- California Black Ripe Olives
- Artichoke hearts
- Low-sodium chicken broth or chicken stock
- Feta cheese
- Fresh parsley and fresh oregano
Before you run away, note that many of these ingredients are super basic including dried herbs and canned goods. There is absolutely nothing crazy going on in this recipe.
What type of rice should I use?
For this recipe, grain length does make a difference. Pick long-grain rice – standard long-grain rice, white basmati rice, or jasmine rice will all work. For reference, I used white jasmine rice.
I do not recommend using short-grain rice, medium-grain rice, risotto, paella, or minute rice.
Can I use brown rice to make this recipe?
I have not tried making this recipe using brown rice so I can’t speak for the final result. That said, expect to increase the total cook time by approximately 10-15 minutes. This can get tricky when cooking chicken as we don’t want one to be undercooked and the other to be overcooked. I’d keep an eye on the internal temperature of your chicken using a digital meat thermometer. Once the chicken registers 160 degrees F remove the chicken pieces from your pan to a clean plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Return the rice to the oven to continue cooking until all liquid is absorbed.
Can I use skinless chicken breasts?
Yes. Should you choose to use chicken breasts, marinate your chicken as instructed. However, rather than cook the chicken with the rice for the entire baking time, add the chicken to the pan or skillet 15-20 minutes into cooking. This means that, rather than cooking for 45 minutes in the oven, the chicken would cook for approximately 25-30 minutes. Chicken breasts do not need to cook as long as bone-in chicken thighs and searing is only necessary if the skin is left on.
How can I prevent my dish from tasting too salty?
The easiest way to prevent this one-pot chicken and rice from tasting too salty (or briny) is to rinse the olives, artichoke hearts, and feta (assuming you’ve purchased feta that’s come soaked in brine) in cold water. Drain thoroughly or pat dry with a paper towel and continue the recipe as instructed.
How to Make Chicken and Rice
I divided the recipe into three parts– the chicken and marinade, the rice, and the olives with feta. I promise this does not mean extra work. The only reason I do this is to make your life easier (hopefully) when it comes time to make this yummy dinner for your family.
1. Marinate your chicken. Ideally, we would all remember to marinate our chicken for at least 4-12 hours. This only happens to me maybe 2 percent of the time, so I’ll tell you guys what I tell myself- do your best. Fortunately, chicken thighs are super juicy, so even if your chicken only bathes in the marinade for 10 minutes, it will still taste awesome. The marinade is a simple mix of lemon juice, lemon zest (don’t skip the zest!), dried herbs, and olive oil.
- pro-tip: this marinade recipe works great as a multi-purpose marinade so use it for grilling and baking everything from fish to chicken, lamb to veggies.
2. Sear your chicken. This step is actually super important. Grab your large pan or skillet, and heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot add the chicken skin-side down. This sears the chicken skin and makes it nice and crispy. You want this, trust me. Once the chicken has been seared on each side (we’re not fully cooking), remove from the skillet.
- If you are using skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts, skip this step. The primary purpose of this step is to get your chicken skin nice and crispy. I
3. Assess what’s left in the skillet. What am I talking about? After cooking the chicken you’ll be left with chicken grease and potentially, some leftover charred bits stuck on the bottom of the pan. Although the grease leftover from the chicken is great for the next step, we do not want to cook the rice in the oven with stuff already stuck and burnt to the bottom of the skillet. My solution? Depending on the skillet you are using, scrape off the gunk with a metal spatula (I couldn’t do this with a cast iron skillet), use a splash of wine to boil off the stuck bits, use a wad of bunched up damp paper towel to wipe it off, or wash the pan. This is entirely up to you and a step that I could talk a whole lot more about but everyone has different cooking tools.
4. Prepare the rice. Before adding the rice to the skillet, sauté the onion with garlic and herbs over medium heat until soft and fragrant. This is another super important step as it helps add a really nice flavor base. Add the rice and sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes before adding one can of sliced California Green Ripe Olives, artichokes, chicken broth, and lemon juice. Bring the rice to a low simmer and transfer the chicken thighs directly on top of the rice, skin-side-up. Remove from heat.
- If you’re not a fan of super briny-tasting food, rinse the olives and artichokes with cold water and drain thoroughly before adding to your pan. This will help eliminate some of the saltiness.
5. Bake. Set oven to 350 degrees F and cover the chicken and rice with a lid, baking sheet, or piece of foil. Bake the chicken and rice for 30 minutes covered, plus an additional 10-15 minutes, uncovered. Remove from the oven and allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and oregano, and sliced lemon wedges.
- If your chicken skin isn’t as crispy as you’d like, set your oven to broil. Broil for 1-3 minutes before removing immediately.
What to Serve with Olive Chicken and Rice
This chicken and rice dish is easily enjoyed as a meal on its own. To make this comfort food even more comforting, however, I made a little “salad” of olives, feta, and fresh herbs. Whether you choose to add the salad or not is entirely up to you.
Other easy recipes you may enjoy paired with this comforting chicken and rice include,
Fun Facts About California Ripe Olives
While on my grove tour with California Ripe Olives I learned a lot of really fun and interesting facts about olives that I had no idea about previously. I love learning and sharing knowledge about the foods I am eating, so I thought I would share some of these fun facts with you guys.
- California produces over 95% of the olives produced in the US.
- Olives are grown on trees and are therefore a fruit.
- Olive trees are an alternate bearing fruit. What this means is that they produce a big crop one year and a smaller crop the next year.
- Harvest season generally starts in September and goes into November. California Ripe Olives are harvested when they are still green.
- The majority of California Ripe Olive harvesting is done by hand.
- All olives must be cured as they are much too bitter to eat right off the tree.
- The method of processing California Ripe Olives is a multi-day process that starts by putting the olives into a lye curing solution to remove the bitterness. This is followed by a series of cold-water rinses, which remove every trace of the curing solution. Throughout the multi-day curing process, pure air is constantly bubbled through the olives. This air (oxidation) is what creates the natural, rich dark color of California Black Ripe Olives. California Green Ripe Olives go through a nearly identical curing process. However, their tanks are not injected with air, allowing them to retain their green color.
So, basically, black and green olives are the same thing.
I know, mind BLOWN.
More Easy Chicken Recipes,
If you try cooking this One Pot Chicken and Rice Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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One Pot Chicken and Rice Recipe
For the Chicken and Marinade
For the Rice
- 2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
- 1 yellow onion (finely chopped)
- 5 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cups long-grain white rice (washed and drained)
- 1 (6 ounce) can California Green Ripe Olives (drained and roughly chopped)
- 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts (drained and quartered)
- 1.5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice ((from approx. 2 lemons))
- Fresh chopped oregano (to garnish)
- Fresh chopped parsley (to garnish)
For the Olive and Feta Topping
- 1 (6 ounce) can California Green Ripe Olives (drained and halved)
- 1 (6 ounce) can California Black Ripe Olives (drained and halved)
- 8 ounces feta cheese (cut into cubes)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp fresh parsley (diced)
For the Chicken and Marinade
- Combine the chicken with the marinade ingredients in a large zip-lock bag. Mix well to coat the chicken in the lemon and herbs. Set aside to marinate for at least 20 minutes, or transfer to the refrigerator to marinate overnight.
For the Rice
- Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade, discarding the zip-lock bag and any leftover marinade. Place the chicken in the skillet, skin-side down, and cook until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes. Flip the chicken over and cook the other side for an additional 4-5 minutes more.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and transfer to a clean plate. The chicken will not be fully cooked, that's ok.
- Pour off any excess fat left behind in the pan and carefully scrape off any burnt bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet with a scrunched up, slightly damp, paper towel. If the burnt bits do not come off, you may clean the skillet (see note 2).
- Return the skillet to the stove. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic, dried Italian seasoning, oregano, salt, and rice to the skillet and mix well to combine with the onion. Cook, stirring continuously, for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the green olives, artichoke hearts, low-sodium chicken broth, and lemon juice to the rice and stir to combine. Bring rice to a simmer and place the chicken on top. Preheat oven to 350 Degree F.
- Remove from heat and cover the skillet with a lid, baking sheet, or piece of foil. Transfer to the oven to cook for 30 minutes covered, plus an additional 15 minutes uncovered, or until the rice has absorbed all liquid and chicken is fully cooked.
- Remove from the oven and allow your chicken and rice to cool for 5-10 minutes. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and oregano and serve with herbed olives and feta (see below). Enjoy!
For the Olive and Feta Topping
- In a medium bowl combine the black olives, green olives, feta cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh parsley. Mix well to combine. Keep stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- This recipe calls for an oven-safe skillet that is at least 12.5 inches.
- You may also de-glaze the pan with a splash of dry white wine.
- You may also use boneless skinless chicken thighs. However, to prevent over-cooking, skip browning them in your skillet before cooking. Instead, marinate the chicken, as instructed, and place them atop the uncooked rice just before transferring to the oven.
- For skinless chicken breasts, marinate your chicken as instructed. However, rather than cook the chicken with the rice for the entire baking time, add the chicken to the pan or skillet 15-20 minutes into cooking. This means that, rather than cooking for 45 minutes in the oven, the chicken would cook for approximately 25-30 minutes.
- To reduce the total fat in this recipe, while ensuring that your chicken is juicy and delicious, use bone-in skinless chicken thighs. Skip searing the chicken before adding to the uncooked rice.
- Please wash your rice. Washing your rice will remove any surface starch which contributes to soggy, mushy rice after it's finished cooking.
- The best rice for this recipe is any long-grain white rice - standard, jasmine, basmati, etc. Minute Rice, risotto, and arborio rice (paella rice) will not work to make this recipe).
- If using brown rice - add an additional 1/4 cup cooking liquid and increase cook time to 45 minutes covered, 15 minutes uncovered. Keep an eye on the internal temperature of your chicken. If your chicken registers an internal temperature above 160 degrees F. before your rice has finished cooking, remove to a clean plate and cover with foil to keep warm as the rice finishes cooking in the oven.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)