From arroz con pollo to chicken biryani, there is no shortage of chicken and rice recipes around the globe. This duo is as delicious as it is versatile. After all, chicken and rice are two of the most flexible ingredients. The flavors aren't too overpowering, so there’s no limit when it comes to deciding what else you can add to the meal. Plus, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t like these ingredients, even amongst the pickiest of eaters. That’s why chicken and rice dishes are great options for dinner parties or weeknight meals.
Discover new ways to take this classic combination to the next level with RiceSelect®. We’ll take you through some of our favorite cooking techniques and provide some inspiration along the way! With so many possibilities, there’s no reason to get stuck in a recipe rut.
But first, let’s review some of the basics when it comes to cooking chicken.
Good quality chicken should have a pinkish hue. Make sure it isn’t damaged with bruises or rips in the skin. If the chicken is slightly plump, that’s a good sign; when pressed, the meat should be fairly resilient, and return to its original shape in a matter of seconds. Choosing a cut depends on how you’re preparing your poultry.
Breast: Perhaps the most popular cut, breasts can be purchased whole or pre-sliced, with or without the skin.
Wings: A popular finger food, wings have skin that gets nice and crispy when roasted, grilled, or barbecued.
Drumsticks: A BBQ staple, drumsticks serve as great finger food options as well. They’re easy to cook and work wonders with sauce.
Thighs: Home chefs know the chicken thighs are not only the most flavorful part of the bird but also nearly foolproof to cook. As this cut is particularly fatty, thighs retain plenty of moisture, so they are soft and juicy.
Whole Chicken: Whether you roast the whole bird at once or opt to divvy it up at home, buying a whole chicken is the most cost-effective route. A good chef won’t let any part go to waste: after splitting off your choice cuts, the carcass can be used to make a hearty stock.
The basic rule of thumb is that cooked chicken is white, whereas uncooked or raw chicken still has traces of pink. However, it’s best not to take any chances. While it may not be the most glamorous part of cooking, proper food handling should be a chef’s priority.
Cooking Tip: Remember that home chefs need to be mindful when handling raw chicken. Wipe down your workstation and wash your hands and tools after touching uncooked poultry to avoid cross contamination.
Temperature: The most reliable way to check that chicken is fully cooked is investing in a good thermometer. Find the thickest part and wait 30 seconds – it should read at least 165 °F.
Firmness: Raw chicken has a rubbery texture. As it loses moisture during the cooking process, it becomes more firm.
Color: Cooked chicken should be golden brown on the outside and white on the inside. If you cut into the thickest part and notice pink hues, it’s not quite ready.
Juice: Similarly, juice should be a white or clear color, with no hint of pink.
Now that we’ve brushed up on the basics, let’s dive into some delicious dishes.
Baking keeps chicken moist and ensures it is cooked all the way through. There are a number of ways you can customize a chicken and rice bake, making use of various flavors and compliments.
While baking is known to give food a more tender texture and flavor, grilling offers different advantages: chicken on the grill boasts more of a robust taste and also allows fat to fall off the meat, bringing down the calorie count.
For a dish that’s easy to prepare yet never fails to satisfy, try these Vietnamese Inspired Lemongrass Chicken Skewers with RiceSelect Jasmati White Rice and Nuoc Cham. This can be a great meal to make for guests as it’s so easy to cook. Simply marinate the chicken, prep the skewers, and let the grill do the rest.
Stir-frying food in a hot pan or wok is a quick and popular cooking technique that simply involves continually stirring an array of ingredients over high heat. With this method, you can cook a variety of vegetables, meats, fish, and poultry - as well as chicken and rice!
For a combination of sweet and spicy flavors, this Indonesian-style Quinoa and Chicken Nasi Goreng is a must. For a tasty twist with an intriguing texture, chicken works wonders with a protein-packed serving of RiceSelect® Tri-Color Quinoa.
Quinoa also tastes fabulous in this Stir Fried Chicken dish, a delightful mix in the pan of quinoa, egg, chicken, sesame oil and soy sauce.
Searing chicken means cooking it in a hot pan over high heat until a golden-brown crust develops on the surface. This is done with oil so the surface of the chicken sears adequately without sticking.
World-renowned Chef Jordan Andino (@@fork_knife) is the man behind this irresistible Chicken, Apple and Parsley Tri-Color Quinoa Salad. This recipe walks us through how to cook chicken until it’s perfectly tender.
Alternatively, master searing for this creamy Pesto Chicken Risotto. This velvety rice dish is a warm and pleasant supper cooked with fresh handmade basil pesto and tender chicken.
Top chefs use a range of pots and pans in their cooking and, at times, that includes a Dutch oven. Using this thick-walled cooking pot keeps chicken extra moist and juicy.
Packed with Mediterranean flavors, this Chicken, Cracked Olive and Couscous Tagine is truly something else. Loaded with marinated chicken, herbs, cracked olives, and RiceSelect® Pearl Couscous, this meal delivers complex flavors despite being simple to prepare. Though tagines are commonly prepared in a particular Moroccan pot – aptly named a tagine – the concept is similar to that of a dutch oven: a pot and lid that seals in the moisture while all the ingredients cook over low heat.
If the thought of peanut sauce makes your mouth water, you’ll love this Peanut Sauce Chicken & Rice meal. Here, fresh ginger and garlic are cooked with chicken and rice before being served with a creamy peanut sauce for a warming effect.
When you’re craving greens, check out this tangy Ginger Chicken with Broccoli. Ready in less than 30 minutes, this rice bowl is simple enough to make on a weeknight but delicious enough for a dinner party.
Air-fryers produce a nice, juicy texture. What’s more, with some flavorsome seasoning rubbed on top, the result is even more delicious.
Armelle Dee – @savourous – has this delicious Turmeric Kamalis™ Rice with AirFried Chicken to share with us. Less than half an hour is all it takes to cook up this chicken and rice with broccoli dish topped with sweet and savory ginger sauce.
Don’t let any leftover chicken go to waste. Instead, revive dry poultry by tossing it in a soup. Make one of these delicious soups to keep warm on a cold day.
With this thick and comforting Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup, you’ll feel satisfied and cozy in the house at any time if day,
But for an Asian twist, you might want to try this Thai Chicken and Black Rice Soup which comes with RiceSelect® Black Rice. Its delicate nutty flavor serves to complement the sharp, pungent ginger and lemongrass.
If you love the taste of lemon, Nicole Triebe's (@Windycitydinnerfairy) Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup recipe makes an exceptionally enjoyable and relaxing meal. If you are craving pasta instead of grains, try this Lemon Chicken and Orzo Soup instead; rich in Mediterranean flavors, it will not let you down.
With all the options above, your chicken and rice dishes need never be boring again. All that’s left is for you to decide which one will make it into your kitchen first. Then, you’re ready to enjoy your creation with whoever’s luckiest enough to join you at the table.