Monday, May 28, 2012

One-Pot Chicken and Rice Redux

Readers of my old website might remember seeing this recipe about a year ago. It begs the obvious question why publish it again, dummy? Well, when I first prepared this dish, I remember the rice was flavorful, but the chicken was bland. After preparing this dish a few more times, I eventually fixed it by using a brine.

What exactly is a brine? A brine is basically a salt water solution along with other seasonings to add moisture and flavor, resulting in juicier food. Marinades are similar to brines but work to tenderize and add flavor to proteins using an acidic ingredient such as vinegars or citrus juices.

The Challenge

Fix an inferior concept while elevating a dish and demonstrating a technique to improve flavor.

The Source

The brine is original but the dish has been adapted from page 345 of America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook Third Edition.


2 quarts water
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, cracked
1 bay leaf
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme

4 bone-in, skin on split chicken breasts 5 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped medium
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 10-ounce package frozen broccoli spears, thawed and chopped medium
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (approximately 1 cup)
lemon wedges (for serving)
*Items italicized can be changed depending on availability, and preference.


1. Whisk 1/2 cup kosher salt and 1/2 cup white sugar into 2 quarts water until dissolved. Stir in the (other seasonings) and submerge the chicken completely in the brine and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours in a resealable bag, turning halfway through.

2. Remove the chicken from the brine and discard the brine. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken, skin side down and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, leaving the fat in the pot.

3. Add the onion, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to the fat in the pot and place over medium heat. Cook, scraping up any fond (browned bits) until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

4. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in the rice and cook until the edges turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the broth and the wine and bring to a simmer.

5. Return the chicken to the pot, skin side up. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until the chicken is fully cooked through and registers 175 Fahrenheit on an instant read thermometer, about 25 minutes.

6. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Pat the broccoli dry, then stir into the rice. Stir in the cheddar and let it melt for 1 minute. Season the rice mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with lemon wedges.


Yes, both the rice and the chicken were flavorful.


  1. What a great idea! I’m off to my freezer in search

  2. hi there... just dropped by to say thank you for dropping a note in my blogsite.
    This chicken and rice looks good. It sounds simple but it's in the details that makee the difference.


  3. Nice! The brine is a great idea - this dish sounds delicious!

  4. I love brining. So simple and so effective. It's a great way to dress up a simple meat dish.

  5. No meat for me... but my boyfriend would LOVE me (even more) if I made this for him! :D

  6. Bravo to you for working with the original recipe to get this right. I am sure the brining did add a lot more flavor. It looks delicious. Makes me wish I had it for dinner last night!

  7. That chicken skin looks super crispy! YUM.

    Thanks for dropping by to visit me. Hope you'll be back again!

  8. This looks so good. I'll take a big bowl please.

  9. Great ingredient on this chicken recipe,chicken looks perfectly done,,yum !!


  10. Great idea for dinner any day of the week! Well done!!!!

  11. Looks delicious. I learned about brining a few years ago and it makes a huge difference. You always makes delicious meal!!

  12. It looks really delish, esp. the chicken. Wonderful!

  13. Definitely no dummy :) A new an improved version should always be shared. I do like the brining method esp for the tougher meats. Haven't tried it with chicken tho. Gotta do this!

  14. I like your idea to use a brine! I also think thighs are more flavorful and juicy than breasts, so good swap.

  15. Cooking is about reinventing, experimenting and developing always for a better result. I don't care if this is a rerun, I am sure there is a twist and a tweak somewhere. I am ready to try this.

  16. cool! i have never brined anything before, but i like salty things so i always thought it sounded delicious. im timid with meat, this step by step looks like a good place to start!

  17. I love that you reworked the recipe to make it perfect. Both the rice and chicken look delicious!

  18. My first time here, and love your recipes. Found you through another blog and I'm following :)

  19. This really looks incredibly delicious! Surely it must have made for a fabulous meal. :)

  20. Brining is like magic! And, I love chicken and rice.

  21. Hi! Thank you for stopping by my site and leaving a comment for me. Great chicken and rice dish, I can almost taste the garlic. :) Enjoy your weekend!

  22. Hey DB - Caught this on Fave Southern Recipes. I've been trying to find a good chicken and rice recipe like my Nana used to make and this one looks really good! Hope you enjoy working with FSR as much as I do - I know I will enjoy this recipe!!


Feedback is always welcomed. If you're going to be critical, be constructive. In other words, be nice.