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Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipe

Updated on April 23, 2016
Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon has been cooking since childhood. He loves above all to take fresh ingredients and combine them in tasty and hopefully original ways.

Chicken and rice casserole with biryani spices is one of the recipes featured on this page
Chicken and rice casserole with biryani spices is one of the recipes featured on this page

Chicken and rice is an ingredients combination which is open to wide interpretation. Both are so versatile in their own way that chicken and rice casseroles alone can be prepared with a wide variety of additional ingredients to cover an impressive range of tastes. It is important, however, to consider how you are going to keep the casseroled chicken moist and ensure it doesn't become dry and tough. One of the biggest factors in this respect is which part of the chicken you include in your dish. Although breast and leg meat can be used very effectively in many preparations, the recipes on this page all use chicken thighs.

Fresh chicken thighs
Fresh chicken thighs

Casseroled Chicken Thighs

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 chicken thigh (boned, skin on)
Calories 158
Calories from Fat90
% Daily Value *
Fat 10 g15%
Saturated fat 3 g15%
Unsaturated fat 7 g
Protein 16 g32%
Cholesterol 57 mg19%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

There are three chicken thigh and rice casserole recipes featured on this page, each one using chicken thighs prepped in a slightly different way. First of all, you will find a recipe incorporating whole chicken thighs, followed by one for boned but otherwise whole chicken thighs. This latter recipe is preceded by a video with full instructions on how to remove the bones. The final recipe uses skinned, boned and chopped chicken thighs.

It is more than worth pointing out that you should always buy chicken thighs with the bones in where possible and (if appropriate) remove them yourself. This is simply due to the cost of boned chicken thighs being considerably higher than their bone in, precise equivalents.

Chicken and Rice Casserole with Broccoli and Cauliflower

Freshly chopped parsley garnishes this whole chicken thigh, broccoli and cauliflower rice casserole
Freshly chopped parsley garnishes this whole chicken thigh, broccoli and cauliflower rice casserole

Cook Time

  • Prep time: 25 min
  • Cook time: 40 min
  • Ready in: 1 hour 5 min
  • Yields: Two servings

Ingredients

  • 4 whole chicken thighs
  • 6 florets cauliflower
  • 6 florets broccoli
  • 8oz basmati or long grain rice
  • 12 fl oz fresh chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Freshly chopped parsley to garnish

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Browning chicken thighs in oilBrowned and sealed chicken thighsRice should be washed before it is cookedRice and stock is added to casserole dishChicken thighs are laid skin sides up on top of rice and stockBroccoli and cauliflower florets are interspersed between the chicken thighsFoil covers the casserole for bakingChicken thigh, broccoli and cauliflower casseroleChicken and rice casserole with broccoli and cauliflower
Browning chicken thighs in oil
Browning chicken thighs in oil
Browned and sealed chicken thighs
Browned and sealed chicken thighs
Rice should be washed before it is cooked
Rice should be washed before it is cooked
Rice and stock is added to casserole dish
Rice and stock is added to casserole dish
Chicken thighs are laid skin sides up on top of rice and stock
Chicken thighs are laid skin sides up on top of rice and stock
Broccoli and cauliflower florets are interspersed between the chicken thighs
Broccoli and cauliflower florets are interspersed between the chicken thighs
Foil covers the casserole for baking
Foil covers the casserole for baking
Chicken thigh, broccoli and cauliflower casserole
Chicken thigh, broccoli and cauliflower casserole
Chicken and rice casserole with broccoli and cauliflower
Chicken and rice casserole with broccoli and cauliflower
  1. Put your oven on to preheat to 375F/190C.
  2. Gently heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and brown and seal for about a minute on each side. Remove to a plate.
  3. Pour the rice in to a fine sieve and rinse very well under running cold water. This removes the excess starch. Tip the rice in to a large ovenproof dish and spread out evenly. Carefully pour in the chicken stock.
  4. Lay the chicken thighs at regular intervals in the dish, skin sides up, interspersed with the cauliflower and broccoli florets. Season with a little more salt and pepper.
  5. Cover the dish with foil, shiny side inwards and bake in the oven for thrity-five to forty minutes.
  6. Remove the dish from the oven with oven protecting gloves and carefully lift the foil away. If an excess of liquid remains (it shouldn't), cook uncovered for five more minutes. Test the chicken thighs with a skewer to ensure the juices run clear. Allow the casserole to rest for ten minutes.
  7. Garnish the dish with the parsley and take to the table for service.

How to Bone Chicken Thighs

Boning chicken thighs is a lot easier than you may think. If this is something you have never attempted before, it is recommended that you watch the short video below, which explains the process very effectively in simple, easy to follow steps.

Chicken and Rice Casserole with Tarragon and Mushrooms

Chicken thigh and rice casserole infused with fresh tarragon and mushrooms
Chicken thigh and rice casserole infused with fresh tarragon and mushrooms

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min

Cook time: 40 min

Ready in: 1 hour 10 min

Yields: Two servings

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs, boned
  • 1/2 medium white onion, peeled and moderately finely sliced
  • 8 small button mushrooms, halved
  • 8oz long grain or basmati rice
  • 12 fl oz fresh chicken stock
  • 2 or 3 sprigs fresh tarragon (leaves only), roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Browning and sealing the boned chicken thighsBrowned boneless chicken thighsOnion and mushroomsSliced onion and mushroomsFrying the onion and mushrooms in the chicken juicesFresh tarragon leavesRice, mushrooms, onion and tarragon are combinedChicken stock is poured over rice combinationChicken thighs are folded over and laid skin sides up in rice and stockChicken and rice casserole with tarragon and mushrooms is served
Browning and sealing the boned chicken thighs
Browning and sealing the boned chicken thighs
Browned boneless chicken thighs
Browned boneless chicken thighs
Onion and mushrooms
Onion and mushrooms
Sliced onion and mushrooms
Sliced onion and mushrooms
Frying the onion and mushrooms in the chicken juices
Frying the onion and mushrooms in the chicken juices
Fresh tarragon leaves
Fresh tarragon leaves
Rice, mushrooms, onion and tarragon are combined
Rice, mushrooms, onion and tarragon are combined
Chicken stock is poured over rice combination
Chicken stock is poured over rice combination
Chicken thighs are folded over and laid skin sides up in rice and stock
Chicken thighs are folded over and laid skin sides up in rice and stock
Chicken and rice casserole with tarragon and mushrooms is served
Chicken and rice casserole with tarragon and mushrooms is served
  1. Bone the chicken thighs as instructed in the video above and put your oven on to preheat to 375F/190C.
  2. Season the chicken thighs on both sides before sealing and browning in the warmed oil. This may have to be done in two or three batches. Lift the chicken thighs to a plate.
  3. The onions and mushrooms should be added to the pan containing the oil and chicken juices and sauteed for a minute or so.
  4. Wash the rice and put it in an ovenproof dish. Add the onion, mushroom and tarragon and stir to combine before spreading evenly over the dish. Slowly pour in the chicken stock.
  5. Fold the chicken thighs over that the skins are exposed and lay them folded side down in the stock and rice.
  6. Cover the dish with foil and bake for thrity-five to forty minutes.
  7. Ensure the liquid has evaporated and that the juices of the thighs run clear. Rest for ten minutes before plating and serving.

Chicken and Rice Casserole with Biryani Spices

A biryani spice mixture adds a subtle infusion of flavour to this chicken and rice casserole
A biryani spice mixture adds a subtle infusion of flavour to this chicken and rice casserole

The spice mix used in this recipe is in a quantity to make a slightly spiced dish only. Doubling the quantities of the spices and the vegetable oil will suit those who like their Indian dishes that little bit more spicy.

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour 30 min

Cook time: 40 min

Ready in: 2 hour 10 min

Yields: Two servings

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs, skinned, boned and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1/2 medium white onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 small head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 8oz basmati or long grain rice
  • 12 fl oz fresh chicken stock
  • 3" piece of cucumber, sliced
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Small bunch of coriander leaf/cilantro
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Skin is peeled from chicken thighsSkinned, boned and chopped chicken thighsBiryani spices are added to vegetable oilCucumber and onion is prepared for casseroleSpice marinated chicken thigh meat is browned and sealedOnion and galric is added to the browned chicken thighsCucumber is added to the chicken mixWashed rice is added to the biryani spice mixStock is added last of all to biryani mixBiryani chicken and rice casserole ready for the ovenBirtyani chicken and rice casserole removed from the ovenGarnishings are prepared for biryani chicken and rice casseroleCucumber, tomatoes and coriander/cilantro are added to the casseroleA fork is used to carefully turn the garnishings through the casseroleBiryani chicken and rice casserole is ready for a final garnish and service
Skin is peeled from chicken thighs
Skin is peeled from chicken thighs
Skinned, boned and chopped chicken thighs
Skinned, boned and chopped chicken thighs
Biryani spices are added to vegetable oil
Biryani spices are added to vegetable oil
Cucumber and onion is prepared for casserole
Cucumber and onion is prepared for casserole
Spice marinated chicken thigh meat is browned and sealed
Spice marinated chicken thigh meat is browned and sealed
Onion and galric is added to the browned chicken thighs
Onion and galric is added to the browned chicken thighs
Cucumber is added to the chicken mix
Cucumber is added to the chicken mix
Washed rice is added to the biryani spice mix
Washed rice is added to the biryani spice mix
Stock is added last of all to biryani mix
Stock is added last of all to biryani mix
Biryani chicken and rice casserole ready for the oven
Biryani chicken and rice casserole ready for the oven
Birtyani chicken and rice casserole removed from the oven
Birtyani chicken and rice casserole removed from the oven
Garnishings are prepared for biryani chicken and rice casserole
Garnishings are prepared for biryani chicken and rice casserole
Cucumber, tomatoes and coriander/cilantro are added to the casserole
Cucumber, tomatoes and coriander/cilantro are added to the casserole
A fork is used to carefully turn the garnishings through the casserole
A fork is used to carefully turn the garnishings through the casserole
Biryani chicken and rice casserole is ready for a final garnish and service
Biryani chicken and rice casserole is ready for a final garnish and service
  1. Pour the vegetable oil in to a large glass or stone bowl and add the spices. Stir to form a paste. Add the chopped chicken thigh meat and stir well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Put the marinated chicken in to a pot and on to a moderately high heat. Seal and brown, stirring with a wooden spoon, for about a minute or so.
  3. Add the onion and garlic and sautee for a further minute. Add the cauliflower for another minute's stirring.
  4. Turn off the heat and add the washed rice, followed by the stock. Stir well before adding to the ovenproof dish and spreading evenly.
  5. Cover with foil and bake in the oven at 375F/190C for forty minutes.
  6. Remove the dish from the oven and uncover. Rest for ten minutes. Add the cucumber, tomato and coriander leaf/cilantro. Use a fork to carefully stir through the garnishings and fluff up the rice.
  7. Plate the casserole and garnish with a little more coriander/cilantro.

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    • Gordon Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hi, Slappywalker and thank you. The biryani one was an adaptation of something I usually make in a pot with chicken breast meat and I was delighted how it worked prepared in this way.

      I promise you, boning chicken thighs is so easy and the price difference for boned and whole is unbelievable. The day after I published this Hub, I decided to look in my local supermarket at precisely what the price difference stands at today. I was more than shocked to see that the boned thighs came in at just under double the price of whole thighs! To me, that is simple robbery. Good luck with it.

    • slappywalker profile image

      Kieron Walker 4 years ago from Saratoga Springs, NY

      The casserole with Biryani spices looks awesome...well they all look awesome.

      I had always been intimidated to try removing the bones from my own chicken thighs, but the video made it look easier than I thought. It could definitely save me a bit of money in the long haul.

    • italianfood profile image

      George A. Pepper 4 years ago from Philippines

      Great recipe! I feel hungry looking on those pictures.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you, KoffeeKlatch Gals. I enjoyed all of them but would put the biryani one as my favourite. Hope you enjoy anything you try.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      What great recipes. They all look delicious. I don't know which one to try first. Up, interesting and useful.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thanks, Carol. Yes, fresh chicken stock does make all the difference where it's available. Hope you continue to enjoy your great chicken meals :)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Looks tasty and we eat a lot of chicken at this house. I like all the veggies and using fresh chicken stock.

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